Airtel, Tata inks pact for 5G rollout

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Telecommunication major Bharti Airtel and Tata Group, on Monday, announced a strategic partnership for implementing 5G network solutions for India.

As per the agreement, Airtel will pilot and deploy solutions developed by the Tata group as part of its 5G rollout plans in India. The pilot is likely to begin in January 2022, as per the guidelines formulated by the Government of India.

Commercial development

“Tata Group has developed a ‘state of the art’ O-RAN based Radio & NSA/SA Core and has integrated a totally indigenous telecom stack, leveraging the Group capabilities and that of its partners. This will be available for commercial development starting January 2022,” Airtel said in a regulatory filing.

The pilot is likely to begin in January 2022, as per the guidelines formulated by the Government of India.

The company has started 5G trials in major cities using spectrum allocated by the Department of Telecom. Earlier this year, Airtel became the first telecom company in India to demonstrate 5G over its network in the city of Hyderabad.

“We are delighted to join forces with the Tata Group to make India a global hub for 5G and allied technologies. With its world-class technology ecosystem and talent pool, India is well-positioned to build cutting-edge solutions and applications for the world. This will also provide a massive boost to India becoming an innovation and manufacturing destination,” said Mr. Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India and South Asia) Bharti Airtel.

“Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) brings its global system integration expertise and helps align the end-to-end solution to both 3GPP and O-RAN standards, as the network and equipment are increasingly embedded into software,” added the statement.

Further, the two companies said, the 5G product and solutions are aligned to global standards and interoperate with other products based on standard open interfaces and those defined by the ORAN Alliance.

The 5G solutions, once commercially proven in Airtel’s diverse and brownfield network will open export opportunities for India, which is now the second-largest telecom market in the world.

“As a group, we are excited about the opportunity presented by 5G and adjacent possibilities. We are committed to building a world-class networking equipment and solutions business to address these opportunities in the networking space. We are pleased to have Airtel as our customer in this initiative,” said Mr. N. Ganapathy Subramaniam from TCS.

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