NEW DELHI, November 12, 2020: Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”), India’s largest integrated telecommunications services provider, hosted India region’s first Plugfest for the O-RAN ALLIANCE. The event demonstrated the growing maturity of the O-RAN ecosystem to serve customers through emerging technologies such as 5G.
Airtel has been member of the O-RAN ALLIANCE since its inception in 2018. The first India edition of O-RAN Plugfest is part of Airtel’s commitment to build an open technology ecosystem, including O-RAN-based deployments.
Airtel was the first operator in India to commercially deploy a virtual RAN solution based on disaggregated and open architecture defined by the O-RAN ALLIANCE. It is committed to open RAN solutions further by supporting a number of disruptive and innovative partners, helping them develop solutions capable of addressing the scale and complexity of its network and that of other brownfield operators around the world.
At the India edition of the Second Global O-RAN ALLIANCE Plugfest, Airtel partnered with leading players such Altiostar, Altran, ASOCS, Mavenir, NEC, STL, VIAVI Solutions, VVDN and Xilinx to demonstrate multiple technology use cases, including 5G.
“We are committed to evolving our network through an open architecture and are delighted to partner with the O-RAN community. This offers a great opportunity to Indian organizations with innovative hardware, software and services capabilities to build a “’Make in India - O-RAN solution’ - for Indian and global markets.” said Randeep Sekhon, CTO, Bharti Airtel.
“Testing and integration are crucial for developing a commercially available open RAN ecosystem and that’s why the O-RAN ALLIANCE provides its member companies with an efficient global plugfest framework, which complements the O-RAN specification effort as well as the O-RAN Software Community,” said Andre Fuetsch, Chairman of the O-RAN ALLIANCE and Chief Technology Officer of AT&T. “The joint, open, and coordinated effort greatly accelerates the technical evaluation of O-RAN solutions and effectively avoids duplication of efforts for all involved parties whether network operators or solution providers.”
About Bharti Airtel
Headquartered in India, Airtel is a global telecommunications company with operations in 18 countries across South Asia and Africa. The company ranks amongst the top three mobile operators globally and its mobile network covers a population of over two billion people. Airtel is India’s largest integrated telecom provider and the second largest mobile operator in Africa. At the end of September 2020, Airtel had approx. 440 mn customers across its operations.
Airtel’s portfolio includes high speed 4G/4.5G mobile broadband, Airtel Xstream Fiber that promises speeds upto 1Gbps, converged digital TV solutions through the Airtel Xstream 4K Hybrid Box, digital payments through Airtel Payments Bank as well as an integrated suite of services across connectivity, collaboration, cloud and security that serves over one million businesses.
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