Bharti Airtel has today announced a collaboration with Intel for 5G network development by leveraging vRAN / O-RAN technologies.
The collaboration is 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.
Airtel is demonstrating 5G over a live network and is conducting 5G trials in major cities, the company said.
Airtel said that they will deploy Intel’s latest 3rd gen Xeon Scalable processors, FPGAs and eASICs. Further, they will also use Ethernet 800 series across its network to build a solid foundation for rolling out wide-scale 5G.
As members of the O-RAN Alliance, Airtel and Intel will work closely for developing a range of Make in India 5G solutions. The partnership will enable world-class telecom infrastructure in India through local partners. Open radio access network (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. It will enable software-based radio base stations that can run-on general-purpose servers located at the network edge.
Commenting on the partnership, Randeep Sekhon, CTO – Bharti Airtel said:, “Airtel is delighted to have Intel as a part of its rapidly expanding partner ecosystem for 5G. 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.”
Dan Rodriguez, Intel corporate vice president, Network Platforms Group said, “Being able to digitally power the vibrant population of India’s connected users requires scalable and agile networks that can evolve to address the growing demands of its users. ”
He further said “Airtel is delivering their next-generation enhanced network with a breadth of Intel technology, including Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors and FlexRAN software to optimize RAN workloads with embedded intelligence, to scale their infrastructure and deliver on the promise of a connected India.”