Indian telecom network provider Bharti Airtel announced that it has joined hands with Qualcomm “to accelerate 5G in India”. The news came shortly after Airtel became the country’s first telecom company to show 5G on a live commercial network in Hyderabad.
India to launch 5G services by the end of the year
Airtel will use Qualcomm’s 5G RAN platforms to deploy virtualized and Open RAN-based 5G networks in the country. In addition, Airtel will collaborate with Qualcomm to enable other use cases such as 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) to provide Gigabit-speed broadband connectivity to homes and businesses.
Making a statement within the scope of the cooperation with Qualcomm, Airtel Chief Technology Officer Randeep Sekhon said in his statement;
“Airtel has been at the forefront of new technologies and our networks are fully 5G ready. We are very happy that Qualcomm Technologies is the key technology provider on our journey to launch world-class 5G in India. With Airtel’s integrated service portfolio and Qualcomm Technologies’ 5G leadership, we will be in a good position to bring India into the next era of hyper-fast and ultra-low-latency digital connectivity. ”
Airtel is not the first Indian telecom company to partner with Qualcomm for 5G. Reliance Jio from India announced a similar partnership with Qualcomm in October last year.
Reliance Jio already has an in-house 5G solution and is likely to offer its services later this year. Airtel also expressed its confidence that it will be able to make 5G services available “immediately” once it gets enough spectrum. Bidding for 5G spectrum in India will begin on March 1.
In addition, 5G services in India are expected to start rolling out by the end of the year.