Bharti Airtel partners with Cisco to roll out 5G-ready enhanced network

Bharti Airtel partners with Cisco to roll out 5G-ready enhanced network
Photo Credit: Reuters
9 Mar, 2020

Telecommunications company Bharti Airtel on Monday announced that it has partnered with Cisco to launch the country’s largest 5G-ready, 100 gigabit ethernet internet protocol (IP) and optical integrated network to enhance network availability, capacity and scale. 

The deployment is part of Airtel’s initiative to build a 5G-ready network to serve the growing demand for high-speed data services in the country. The telecom giant currently serves over 280 million mobile subscribers across 4G and 2G technologies. 

The automated ethernet-over-fibre network is the largest hyper-complex brownfield network transformation of its kind in India, collapsing multiple legacy domains to build an automated 5G-ready IP network for enhanced customer experiences, the company said in a statement. 

It also integrates Cisco IP and optical solutions along with segment routing to extend services in rural communities, while improving network availability and making it cost-effective.

“Our ongoing collaboration with Cisco is critical in helping us be 5G-ready, collapsing multiple legacy domains to build a flatter, simpler and automated network with more bandwidth to support internet services and the endless growth in consumer and business applications people rely on every day,” Randeep Sekhon, chief technology officer, Bharti Airtel, said.

Cisco’s recent annual internet report said that there will be 67.2 million 5G connections in India by 2023 (4.9% of total mobile connections) and 66% of all devices will be mobile connected by 2023 (34% will be wired or connected over WiFi).

“(With Airtel), we are delivering a highly-scalable IP and optical network throughout India that enables broader mobile access to connect more people, and more businesses who can do more with the internet,” Anand Bhaskar, managing director of Cisco’s service provider business for India and SAARC, said. 

On Thursday, the telecom company signed on Mumbai-based information technology services firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to accelerate its digital transformation journey. Under the agreement, Airtel will leverage TCS’ HOBS product portfolio management (PPM) solution, a statement said.