“Cisco and Airtel are building India’s largest fully automated, 5G-enabled 100G IP and optical integrated network,” Jonathan Davidson, executive vice president and general manager, Cisco told ETTElecom.
The network, according to the senior Cisco executive, would allow Bharti Airtel to expand its services to small and medium-sized businesses in urban and rural areas, including several growth verticals such as smart cities, utilities, manufacturing and agriculture.
In collaboration with Cisco and Google, Bharti Airtel recently launched Airtel Office Internet, a complete enterprise-level solution to serve digital connectivity functions for small businesses and startups.
In March 2020, Bharti Airtel and the US multinational tech conglomerate officially entered into a partnership to build an integrated 5G-capable optical network.
“Together with Bharti Airtel, we are developing resilient go-to-market strategies and delivering relevant solutions to our customers, even in the most difficult times. For a better future, our main focus now is 5G, ”Davidson said.
In 2017, Reliance Jio, owned by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, began building an all-IP converged network, in an industry-first initiative, reaching 100 million broadband and VoLTE customers in six months.
“In our collaboration with Reliance Jio, we began building a revolutionary 5G-enabled network in 2017 to extend Jio’s existing multi-terabit capacity and create the first all-IP converged network,” said the leader.
With the all-IP network supported by Cisco solutions, Jio has transformed the network economy and revolutionized the delivery of customer services spanning the transportation, financial services, entertainment, agriculture, education industries. and health.
Davidson added that Jio’s greenfield initiative is now seen as a model for several telecom service providers spanning countries in Europe and Asia, leveraging the leadership and experience of Cisco and Jio to guide the network transformation.
The company led by Chuck Robbins is also working with Vodafone Idea (Vi) to augment their existing 4G network and, in the future, 5G use cases to create enhanced experiences for their customers.
“Cisco is helping Vi design a cost-effective network architecture to accelerate time to market while leveraging opportunities in 4G, 5G, cloud and IoT. Vi deploys Cisco’s ultra-packet core on its network architecture with new software applications and services, including Wi-Fi voice-over, ”the executive said.
“Service providers see 5G as an opportunity to generate new revenue, deliver new services, reduce costs and improve efficiency by leveraging open architectures and greater automation,” Davidson added.
India is expected to auction 5G waves in multiple bands during the second half of CY 2022, while the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has already extended the allocation of trial spectrum to telecom operators until in May 2022 to demonstrate locally relevant use cases.