Bharti Airtel detailed ambitions to commercially deploy home-grown 5G equipment from January 2022 through a strategic partnership with Tata Group, which claimed to have developed O-RAN Alliance-compliant radio, and non-standalone and standalone core network equipment.

The operator stated it would conduct commercial tests of the Made-in-India 5G equipment on its network, opening the door on export opportunities for the nation.

Airtel explained Tata Group “integrated a totally indigenous telecom stack”, with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) tapped to align the end-to-end network components covering 3GPP and O-RAN Alliance standards.

Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO for India and South Asia at Airtel, said the tie-up with Tata Group would help make India a global hub for 5G and allied technologies.

Airtel launched 5G trials using 3.5GHz spectrum near its headquarters in the city of Gurugram last week.

Rival Reliance Jio also started trialling the next-generation technology last week, using domestically-developed equipment running on mid-band and mmWave spectrum.