Airtel demos Cloud Gaming on a 5G network in India

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Marking yet another industry first on 5G, Bharti Airtel Limited (“Airtel”), India’s provider of telecommunications services, has conducted India’s first cloud gaming session in a 5G environment.

The demonstration was conducted in Manesar (Gurgaon) as part of the ongoing 5G trials using spectrum allotted by the Department of Telecom (Government of India).

For the 5G cloud gaming demonstration, Airtel partnered with two of India’s leading gamers –Mortal (Naman Mathur) and Mamba (Salman Ahmad). Leveraging the gaming technology platform from Blacknut, a sprint racing challenge on Asphalt was unveiled for Mortal and Mamba to put their gaming skills to test in a blazing fast and ultra-low latency 5G environment.

Describing their experience Mortal and Mamba said: “We were totally blown away. This was high end PC and console-quality gaming experience on a smartphone. We can say with confidence that 5G will truly unlock the online gaming scene in India and massify by creating opportunities to build and publish games out of India and bringing a lot of talented gamers from small towns to the mainstream. Thank you Airtel for giving us this wonderful opportunity.”

Mortal and Mamba enjoyed the thrilling session on smartphones connected to 3500 MHz high capacity spectrum band. The 5G test network delivered speeds in excess of 1 Gbps and latency in the range of 10 milliseconds.

Cloud gaming allows users to stream and play games in real time without having to download these or invest in gaming hardware. With the advent of 5G networks, cloud gaming is expected to become the new normal as users will be able to enjoy high end console like gaming experience on smartphones and tablets while on the move. India, with its vast youth population, growing smartphone penetration and 5G networks will see mobile gaming evolve into a $2.4 billion market opportunity. India’s base of 436 million online gamers is expected to reach 510 million by 2022.

Randeep Sekhon, CTO, Bharti Airtel added: “Cloud gaming will be one of the biggest use cases of 5G thanks to the combination of high speed and low latency. After delivering India’s first 5G demo over a test network, we are thrilled to conduct this exciting 5G gaming session. Imagine enjoying real time gaming on the go with someone sitting in another part of the world. This is just the beginning of an exciting digital future that Airtel will enable for its customers as we prepare to roll-out 5G in India.”

Earlier this year, Airtel successfully demonstrated 5G services over a LIVE 4G network in Hyderabad, marking an industry first. It is also conducting 5G trials in multiple cities across India and validating technologies and use cases through the trial spectrum allotted by the Department of Telecom. Airtel has partnered with Ericsson and Nokia for these trials.

Airtel is also spearheading the O-RAN Alliance initiatives in India to build 5G solutions. It has already announced partnerships with Tata Group, Qualcomm, Intel, Mavenir and Altiostar.