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Intel Signs A 5G O-RAN Network Deal With Airtel As Part Of India's 5G Rollout Push

Thursday, 22 July 2021, 04:56 Hrs

Bharti Airtel, India's largest telecommunications company, announced on July 21 that it is working with Intel, an American multinational technology company, to speed up the rollout of the 5G network in India by leveraging virtualized radio access network (vRAN) and O-RAN (open radio access network) technologies. The partnership between the two big companies is expected to improve the country's 5G network rollout significantly.

The joint efforts by Intel and Airtel will evolve the communications network from fixed-function equipment to the virtualized cloud-native deployments. This will enable edge-to-cloud communications to power a hyper connected world where industry 4.0, cloud gaming and virtual or augmented reality become a daily experience for customers. The collaboration is part of Airtel's 5G roadmap for the country, according to a statement shared by the telecom operator. 

Airtel will deploy Intel's latest third-generation Xeon scalable processors, FPGAs and eASICs, and ethernet 800 series across its network to establish a foundation for rolling out a wide-scale 5G network, mobile edge computing, as well as network slicing, according to its statement.

By providing the foundation for a large-scale enhanced mobile broadband with mobile edge computing, Airtel can offer new services for customers while programming its network to yield long-term cost optimizations, said Intel in its statement today.

As members of the O-RAN alliance, both industry leaders will work together to develop a range of indigenous 5G solutions for India, to enable world-class telecom infrastructure through local partners.

The O-RAN platforms will leverage Intel FlexRAN - a reference architecture with both software and hardware components, and provide software-based radio base stations that can run on the general-purpose servers located at the network edge, according to Airtel.