Bharti Airtel (Airtel) has signed 5G network agreements with Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung to commence 5G deployment in August 2022.
Headquartered in India, Airtel is a global communications solutions provider with over 490 Mn customers in 17 countries across South Asia and Africa. It is India’s largest integrated communications solutions provider and the second largest mobile operator in Africa.
The company has had a long-standing relationship for connectivity and Pan-India managed services with Ericsson and Nokia while the partnership with Samsung will begin this year onwards.
Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, Airtel said: “We are delighted to announce that Airtel will commence roll out of 5G services in August. Our network agreements are finalised and Airtel will work with the best technology partners from across the world to deliver the full benefits of 5G connectivity to our consumers. India’s transition into a digital economy will be led by telecom and 5G presents a game-changing opportunity to drive the digital transformation of industries, enterprises and the socio-economic development of India.”
Deploying 5G across India
According to Airtel, working with multiple partners will enable it to roll out 5G services spanning ultra-high-speeds, low latency and large data handling capabilities.
The multi-year deal will see Nokia provide equipment from its market-leading AirScale portfolio along with solutions and services for network management, deployment, planning and optimisation services to ensure the best end-user experiences.
“We look forward to supporting Bharti Airtel with its deployment of 5G in India. With Ericsson’s unrivalled, global 5G deployment experience, we will help Bharti Airtel deliver the full benefits of 5G to Indian consumers and enterprises, while seamlessly evolving the Bharti network from 4G to 5G. 5G will enable India to realise its Digital India vision and foster inclusive development of the country,” said Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson.
Airtel’s retail portfolio includes high-speed 4G/4.5G mobile broadband, Airtel Xstream Fiber that promises speeds up to 1 Gbps with convergence across linear and on-demand entertainment, streaming services spanning music and video, digital payments and financial services. For enterprise customers, Airtel offers a range of solutions that includes secure connectivity, cloud and data centre services, cyber security, IoT, Ad Tech and cloud-based communication.
Pekka Lundmark, President and CEO, Nokia, said: “This landmark deal reinforces our long-standing partnership with Bharti Airtel. We are delighted that they have chosen Nokia's best-in-class AirScale baseband and radio portfolio to deliver superior 5G performance in one of the world's largest networks. I look forward to our continued successful long-term collaboration in this vital and dynamic market.”