Airtel partners with Intel to accelerate 5G roll out in India

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Bharti Airtel and Intel today announced a collaboration to drive network development of 4G and 5G virtualised radio access network (vRAN) and open radio access network (RAN) technologies.  

The partners  will work to evolve communications networks from fixed-function equipment to virtualised cloud-native deployments and enable edge-to-cloud communications to power our hyperconnected world, Intel said in a release. 

The collaboration is part of Airtel’s 5G roadmap for India as it transforms networks to allow its customers to reap the full possibilities of a hyperconnected world where Industry 4.0, cloud gaming and virtual/augmented reality become everyday experiences. Airtel is the first telecom operator in India to demonstrate 5G over a live network and is conducting 5G trials in major cities, reads an official statement. 

 Airtel’s network will be powered by a collection of Intel’s Xeon Scalable processors, FPGAs and eASICs, Ethernet 800 Series, and FlexRAN reference architecture. “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,” said Dan Rodriguez, Intel corporate vice president, Network Platforms Group.

As members of the O-RAN Alliance, Airtel and Intel will work closely for developing a range of Make in India 5G solutions and enabling telecom infrastructure in India through local partners. 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, and enable software-based radio base stations that can run-on general-purpose servers located at the network edge.

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