Airtel teams up with Qualcomm to push 5G in India
The Airtel-Qualcomm collaboration will also strive to deliver a faster rollout of broadband services in a cost effective and expeditious manner.
Airtel on Tuesday announced a collaboration with Qualcomm to accelerate the implementation of 5G services in India. As part of the collaboration, Airtel will leverage Qualcomm's 5G RAN platforms to roll-out virtualised and Open RAN-based 5G networks.
The telecom giant further said that the coalition would work on multiple use cases for 5G, such as developing 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) for faster broadband connectivity to homes and businesses. The two will also work on rolling out broadband services in a “cost-effective” manner and address the problem of last-mile connectivity in India.
Airtel pointed out that its 5G solutions will help achieve multi-gigabit internet speeds wirelessly. For end-users, this would mean ultra-fast and low-latent networks for use cases like fast downloading of gigabit size files or streaming 4K content. The company is also hoping to expand the networks to newer categories such as Virtual Reality and Smart Homes.
Qualcomm's 5G FWA platform brings support for a variety of 5G spectrum bands and modes, including the extended-range high power sub-6 to extended-range mmWave.
“The portfolio of Qualcomm 5G RAN platforms aim to deliver cutting-edge technology for virtualised, flexible and interoperable 5G infrastructure. Through Airtel's network vendors and device partners, Airtel will utilise 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,” said Airtel in a release.
The latest announcement comes days after Airtel demonstrated 5G services over a commercial network in Hyderabad. Airtel leveraged its existing liberalised spectrum in the 1800 MHz band through the NSA (Non-Stand Alone) network technology to showcase the network. The company further said that it used dynamic spectrum sharing to run 5G and 4G networks concurrently and within the same spectrum block.
That said, 5G services are not available in India right now. Telecom firms such as Airtel and Reliance Jio, however, making efforts push 5G in India. According to reports, the government will soon allow the operators to run 5G trials very soon. Apart from Airtel and Reliance Jio, state-run BSNL and Vodafone Idea are also in the fray for 5G.
“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,” Rajen Vagadia, Vice President, QUALCOMM India Private Limited and President, Qualcomm India.