Hyderabad, February 23, 2021: Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”), India’s premier communications solutions provider, and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. today announced their collaboration for accelerating 5G in India. Recently, Airtel became India’s first telco to demonstrate 5G over a LIVE commercial network in the city of Hyderabad.
Through Airtel’s network vendors and device partners, Airtel will utilize the Qualcomm® 5G RAN Platforms to roll-out virtualized and Open RAN-based 5G networks. Airtel, as a board member of the O-RAN Alliance, is committed to driving the success of O-RAN and is working with Qualcomm Technologies to explore and implement the O-RAN approach for India. The flexible and scalable architecture of O-RAN will create new opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses to become viable players in the deployment of 5G networks.
In addition, Airtel and Qualcomm Technologies will collaborate to enable a wide array of use cases, including 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) that is designed to deliver broadband connectivity at Gigabit speeds to homes and businesses. This collaboration also aims to allow a faster rollout of broadband services in a cost effective and expeditious manner across India for “last mile” connectivity challenges that are becoming increasingly important in today’s remote, mobile-first society.
Airtel 5G solutions including FWA services will be able to deliver multi-gigabit internet speeds wirelessly to customers and open up a wide range of innovations. For customers, the ultra-fast and low latency of 5G will unlock a digital world of limitless possibilities – gigabit size file downloads in seconds and 4K video streaming on the go across smartphones and computing devices, Immersive Technologies such as Virtual Reality and SMART Homes with connected things.
Randeep Sekhon, CTO, Bharti Airtel said, “Airtel has been a pioneer of new technologies and our networks are fully ready for 5G. We are delighted to have Qualcomm Technologies as a key technology provider in our journey to roll-out world-class 5G in India. With Airtel’s integrated service portfolio and Qualcomm Technologies’ 5G leadership, we will be well placed to usher India into the next era of hyper-fast and ultra-low latency digital connectivity.”
Rajen Vagadia, Vice President, QUALCOMM India Private Limited and President, Qualcomm India said, “There is a compelling case to accelerate the roll-out of 5G networks in India, as it will help fast-track the country’s socio-economic growth and development. We are pleased to be working with Airtel, and we are excited by the opportunity ahead. This collaboration is expected to play a critical role in Airtel’s plans to add 5G network coverage and capacity where and when it is needed the most.”
Qualcomm® 5G Fixed Wireless Access Platform supports virtually any combination of 5G spectrum bands and modes, from extended-range high power sub-6 to extended-range mmWave. The portfolio of Qualcomm 5G RAN platforms aim to deliver cutting-edge technology for virtualized, flexible and interoperable 5G infrastructure. Through Airtel’s network vendors and device partners, Airtel will utilize the capabilities of these platforms for accelerating the development of 5G applications for Industry 4.0 use cases and for driving innovations for Airtel’s global operations.
About Bharti Airtel
Headquartered in India, Airtel is a global telecommunications company with operations in 18 countries across South Asia and Africa. The company ranks amongst the top three mobile operators globally and its mobile network covers a population of over two billion people. Airtel is India’s largest integrated telecom provider and the second largest mobile operator in Africa. At the end of December 2020, Airtel had approx. 458 million customers across its operations. Airtel’s portfolio includes high speed 4G/4.5G mobile broadband, Airtel Xstream Fiber that promises speeds up to 1Gbps, converged digital TV solutions through the Airtel Xstream 4K Hybrid Box, digital payments through Airtel Payments Bank as well as an integrated suite of services across connectivity, collaboration, cloud and security that serves over one million businesses. Airtel’s OTT services include Airtel Thanks app for self-care, Airtel Xstream app for video, Wynk Music for entertainment and Airtel BlueJeans for video conferencing. In addition, Airtel has forged strategic partnerships with hundreds of companies across the world to enable the Airtel platform to deliver an array of consumer and enterprise services.
Qualcomm is the world’s leading wireless technology innovator and the driving force behind the development, launch, and expansion of 5G. When we connected the phone to the internet, the mobile revolution was born. Today, our foundational technologies enable the mobile ecosystem and are found in every 3G, 4G and 5G smartphone. We bring the benefits of mobile to new industries, including automotive, the internet of things, and computing, and are leading the way to a world where everything and everyone can communicate and interact seamlessly.
Qualcomm Incorporated includes our licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of our patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of our engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of our products and services businesses, including our QCT semiconductor business.