Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel has partnered with Tata Group for the implementation of 5G networks in India. The strategic partnership will see Airtel deploy technology produced by Tata Group as part of its 5G rollout plans, with the cellco noting that it will pilot the system from January 2022. Regarding the 5G solution, Airtel explained that Tata Group has developed an ‘O-RAN based radio and Non-Standalone/Standalone (NSA/SA) core and has integrated a totally indigenous telecom stack’. Tata Consultancy Service (TCS), meanwhile, will provide its global system integration expertise and help align the end-to-end solution to both 3GPP and O-RAN standards. Airtel went on to highlight that the partnership with Tata lines up with the government’s ‘Made in India’ policy, noting that the systems were produced to global standards and inter-operate with other products based on standard open interfaces. As such, once Tata’s 5G solutions are ‘commercially proven in Airtel’s diverse and brownfield network’ the technology can be exported overseas.
Commenting on the tie-up, Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal was quoted as saying: ‘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.’