Bharti Airtel strengthened an agreement with Ericsson to deploy 5G-ready radio and transport products, boosting the Indian operator’s network capacity as it continues to prepare for the launch of next-generation services.
In a statement, Ericsson said the extended multi-year contract built upon the pair’s 25-year partnership and would allow Airtel to enhance its network capacities, including backhaul, to deliver a superior experience to its customers.
Airtel CTO Randeep Sekhon highlighted the move’s importance for building a network “ready for 5G and beyond”, noting the company was “obsessed with delivering the best network experience to our customers, especially in these unprecedented times when digital connectivity is more important than ever”.
India is expected to allocate 5G spectrum in 2021, after the process was delayed this year due to poor economic conditions of the industry, while operator pilot schemes to trial the technology have also been held back as a consequence of Covid-19 (coronavirus) lockdown measures.
India’s push into 5G has also been complicated by rising tensions between the country and China, which has led to severe question marks over the involvement of Chinese vendors in the country.
Nunzio Mirtillo, SVP for South East Asia Oceania and India at Ericsson, added the products manufactured in India will enable Airtel’s network to “cater to the country’s fast-growing data traffic needs”.
The move follows a renewed partnership between the two companies over deploying Ericsson’s AI-based automated technology for network performance boost.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back