Airtel, TCS partner for 5G network solutions

Our Bureau | | | Updated on: Dec 05, 2021

To start commercial development from January 2022

Bharti Airtel and Tata Group have announced a strategic partnership for implementing 5G network solutions for India, which will be available for commercial development from January 2022.

Tata Group has developed an O-RAN (open-radio access network)-based radio and non-standalone architecture/stand-alone architecture (NSA/SA) core, and has integrated a totally indigenous telecom stack, leveraging the capabilities of the group and its partners. The NSA/SA are radio technology that control signalling of 5G radio. While NSA can control signalling of 5G to the 4G core, the SA can connect the 5G radio directly to the 5G core network and control signalling does not depend on the 4G network.

Airtel will pilot and deploy this indigenous solution as part of its 5G rollout plans in India and start the pilot in January 2022, as per the guidelines formulated by the government, the company said in a statement issued on Monday. According to sources, Tata Group will work with Indian tech companies and start-ups for hardware solutions, Tata ‘acting as a super integrator’. It can benefit out of this partnership to export the technology to other countries such as Africa and Sri Lanka.

This is the first time that an operator has tied-up with an Indian partner for development of RAN for 5G network. Globally, Airtel has tie ups with global players such as Altiostar, Mavenir and Rakuten, which are part of the O-RAN alliance. Airtel is a board member of the O-RAN alliance and is committed to exploring and implementing O-RAN-based networks in India.

“With its world-class technology ecosystem and talent pool, India is well positioned to build cutting -dge solutions and applications for the world,” Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO (India and South Asia), Airtel said.

According to analysts tracking the sector, this is a big move to counter Reliance Jio, which is developing indigenous solutions for 5G and has partnered with Qualcomm also.

Published on June 21, 2021
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