Bharti Airtel (Airtel), India’s premier communications solutions provider, has awarded 5G contract in the country to Ericsson, with deployment to get underway in August 2022.
Ericsson is Airtel’s long-standing connectivity partner and pan-India managed services provider, with a partnership spanning more than 25 years and covering every generation of mobile communications. The latest 5G partnership follows the close of 5G spectrum auctions in India on July 26.
Gopal Vittal, MD and Chief Executive Officer, Airtel, says: “As our trusted, long-term technology partner, we are delighted to award our first 5G contract to Ericsson for 5G deployment in India.
“5G presents a game-changing opportunity to drive the digital transformation of industries, enterprises and the socio-economic development of India. With our 5G network, we aim to deliver the full benefits of 5G connectivity, fuel India’s journey towards a digital economy and strengthen the country’s position on the world stage.”
Airtel will deploy power-efficient 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) products and solutions from the Ericsson Radio System and Ericsson microwave mobile transport solutions. Ericsson will be providing 5G connectivity in 12 circles for Bharti Airtel.
In addition to an enhanced user experience for Airtel customers – spanning ultra-high-speeds, low latency and large data handling capabilities – Ericsson 5G network products and solutions will also enable Bharti Airtel to pursue new, innovative use cases with its enterprise and industry customers.
Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson, says: “We look forward to supporting Bharti Airtel with its deployment of 5G in India. With Ericsson’s unrivaled, global 5G deployment experience, we will help Bharti Airtel deliver the full benefits of 5G to Indian consumers and enterprises, while seamlessly evolving the Bharti network from 4G to 5G. 5G will enable India to realize its Digital India vision and foster inclusive development of the country.”
With 125 live networks in 55 countries to date, and around 50 percent of the world’s 5G traffic outside China now carried over Ericsson’s radio networks, the company is at the forefront of 5G around the world. Ericsson is independently recognized as a 5G industry leader, having recently topped the Frost Radar™: Global 5G Network Infrastructure Market ranking for second year in a row. The company was also named a Leader in the 2022 Magic Quadrant for 5G Network Infrastructure for Communications Service Providers report by Gartner.
From setting up the very first switch in India, in 1903, to providing connectivity across 2G, 3G, 4G – and now 5G – Ericsson continues to play a pivotal role in powering virtually every facet of telecommunications in the country.
Airtel and Nokia
Nokia has secured a deal with telecom operator Bharti Airtel, for 5G radio access network (RAN) deployment. This multi-year deal follows the recently concluded 5G spectrum auctions and allocation of pan-India spectrum to Bharti Airtel, supporting their ambition to take India into the 5G era.
Nokia will provide equipment from its market-leading AirScale portfolio, including modular and scalable baseband as well as high-capacity 5G massive MIMO radios.
Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO of Bharti Airtel said, “We are pleased to continue our partnership with Nokia and take India into the 5G era. Airtel has always believed that the real leverage of 5G technology will come from the capacity to build an ecosystem across devices, networks, applications and services. As mobile penetration increases across India, mobile telecom services will have a transformative impact across all sectors of the economy. Airtel is investing in the right areas and working with the right partners to serve our customers even better.”
Pekka Lundmark, President and CEO at Nokia said, “This landmark deal reinforces our long-standing partnership with Bharti Airtel. We are delighted that they have chosen Nokia’s best-in-class AirScale baseband and radio portfolio to deliver superior 5G performance in one of the world’s largest networks. I look forward to our continued successful long-term collaboration in this vital and dynamic market.”
Airtel and Samsung
Samsung has been selected by Airtel for 5G network deployment. As per the agreement, Samsung will be providing its 5G radio units, including Massive MIMO radios, in addition to deployment, optimization and maintenance services.
This marks Samsung’s first 5G networks agreement in India, solidifying its position as a leading 4G/5G network partner in the country and demonstrating its technical leadership in 5G.
Paul (Kyungwhoon) Cheun, president and head of networks business at Samsung Electronics, said, “5G will have a powerful impact on India’s consumers and businesses — taking mobile experiences to a new level, introducing a gamut of enhanced capabilities and expanding what is possible. As a global leader in 5G, Samsung is excited to embark on this 5G journey with Airtel to deliver innovative solutions that will help advance India’s entrepreneurial spirit and open up a new paradigm for the country.”