Airtel, Tata Group join to implement 5G networks in India

Focus on 5G
New Delhi, June 22 2021: Leading Indian  telecom solutions provider, Bharti Airtel has joined with the Tata Group,   in a strategic partnership for implementing 5G networks solutions for India. 
Tata Group has developed a ‘state of the art’ O-RAN based Radio & NSA/SA Core and has integrated a totally indigenous telecom stack, leveraging the Group capabilities and that of its partners. This will be available for commercial development starting Jan 2022. TCS helps align the end-to-end solution to both 3GPP and O-RAN standards, as the network and equipment are increasingly embedded into software.
Airtel will pilot and deploy this indigenous solution as part of its 5G rollout plans in India and start the pilot in January 2022.
These ‘Made in India’ 5G product and solutions are aligned to global standards, and inter-operate with other products based on standard open interfaces and those defined by the O-RAN Alliance. The 5G solutions, once commercially proven in Airtel’s diverse and brownfield network will open export opportunities for India, which is now the second largest telecom market in the world.    
Says Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India and South Asia) Bharti Airtel: “We are delighted to join forces with the Tata Group to make India a global hub for 5G and allied technologies. With its world-class technology ecosystem and talent pool, India is well positioned to build cutting edge solutions and applications for the world. This will also provide a massive boost to India becoming an innovation and manufacturing destination.” |
Adds N. Ganapathy Subramaniam from the Tata Group/ TCS: “As a Group, we are excited about the opportunity presented by 5G and adjacent possibilities. We are committed to building a world-class networking equipment and solutions business to address these opportunities in networking space. We are pleased to have Airtel as our customer in this initiative.”
Comment on Airtel-Tata partnership
Comments Zain Pandit, Partner, J Sagar Associates: Bharti Airtel and Tata Group’s strategic partnership for implementing 5G networks solutions is likely to receive a warm reception.  The partnership looks like it ticks all the right boxes – it is a made in India solution that will be deployed in the world’s second-largest telecom market, and consequently have significant export appeal.  A homegrown solution may also (eventually) help address information security, data security and localisation concerns that stakeholders are likely to have.” 

Airtel is a Board member of the O-RAN Alliance and is committed to explore and implement O-RAN based networks in India. Earlier this year, Airtel became the first telecom company in India to demonstrate 5G over its LIVE network in city of Hyderabad. The Company has started 5G trials in major cities using spectrum allocated by the Department of Telecom.
The Tata group's telecom and media enterprises cater to the communication requirements of global business houses to SMEs, and from wholesale to home networks. Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS) is a member of the O-RAN Alliance.
O-RAN (Open RAN) is a term used for industry-wide standards for RAN (Radio Access Network) interfaces that support interoperation between vendors’ equipment and offer network flexibility at a lower cost. 
O-RAN ALLIANCE   was founded in February 2018 by AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DOCOMO and Orange. It has been established as a German entity in August 2018. Since then, O-RAN ALLIANCE has become a world-wide community of mobile network operators, vendors, and research & academic institutions operating in the Radio Access Network (RAN) industry.