Bharti, Intel to collaborate for 5G in India

Bharti Airtel on Wednesday announced a collaboration with Intel for 5G network development by leveraging virtualised radio access network (vRAN) and open radio access network (O-RAN) technologies.

“The collaboration is a part of Airtel’s 5G roadmap for India as it transforms its networks to allow its customers to reap the full possibilities of the hyperconnected world where Industry 4.0 to cloud gaming and virtual/augmented reality become an everyday experience,” Bharti Airtel said in a statement.

Bharti Airtel and other telecom service providers in the country are currently conducting 5G trials in major cities.

The company said it will deploy Intel’s latest third generation Xeon Scalable processors, field programmable gate array (FPGAs) and eASICs, and Ethernet 800 series across its network to build a foundation for rolling out wide-scale 5G, mobile-edge computing and network slicing.

Intel had also recently partnered with Reliance Jio for 5G technology.

“As members of the O-RAN Alliance, Airtel and Intel will work closely for developing a range of Make in India 5G solutions and enabling world-class telecom infrastructure in India through local partners,” Bharti Airtel said, adding that O-RAN will be an area of tremendous innovation and creativity in the coming years.

These O-RAN platforms will leverage Intel FlexRAN, a reference architecture with both software and hardware components, and enable software-based radio base stations that can run-on general-purpose servers located at the network edge.

“Intel’s cutting-edge technologies and experience will contribute immensely to Airtel’s mission of serving India with world-class 5G services. We also look forward to working with Intel and home-grown companies to unlock India’s potential as a global 5G hub,” Randeep Sekhon, CTO – Bharti Airtel said.

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