Intel and Airtel partner to accelerate 5G

Intel and Airtel partner to accelerate 5G

21 July 2021 | Natalie Bannerman

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Intel and Bharti Airtel (Airtel) are collaborating to develop 4G and 5G virtualised radio access network (vRAN) and open radio access network (RAN) technology.

Together the two aim to transform Airtel’s networks to maximise 5G opportunities, specifically to evolve communications networks from fixed-function equipment to virtualised cloud-native deployments and enable edge-to-cloud communications.

“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," said Dan Rodriguez (pictured), corporate vice president of the network platforms group at Intel.

"Airtel is delivering their next-generation enhanced network with a breadth of Intel technology, including Intel Xeon Scalable processors and FlexRAN software to optimise RAN workloads with embedded intelligence, to scale their infrastructure and deliver on the promise of a connected India.”

Airtel’s network will be powered by a range of Intel technology including the latest Xeon Scalable processors, FPGAs and eASICs, Ethernet 800 Series, and FlexRAN reference architecture.

In doing so, the company aims to transforming its network to meet the growing needs of its 345 million + subscribers to meet their demands for bandwidth and latency. In addition, Airtel can offer new services for consumers while programming its network to yield long-term cost efficiencies.

“Airtel is delighted to have Intel as a part of its rapidly expanding partner ecosystem for 5G,” said Randeep Sekhon, CTO of Bharti Airtel.

“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.”

Additionally, as members of the O-RAN Alliance, both companies will work closely to develop a range of Make in India, an initiative by the Government of India to encourage companies to manufacture in India, 5G solutions and develop telecom infrastructure in India through local partners.