January 12, 2022

Bharti Airtel Partners with Open Network Provider Mavenir for 5G Trials

has partnered with US-based Mavenir for fifth-generation or 5G field trials based on an Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) in mmWave and medium bands in Chandigarh tri-city, reaffirming its commitment to an open technology approach.

“Airtel will undertake 5G trials with Mavenir in the Chandigarh tri-city in the coming weeks in the 3500 MHz and millimeter wave (mmWave) bands,” an industry source said, adding that the partnership would further enable the company of telephone to test a neutral ecosystem vis-à-vis suppliers. .

The alliance between the two includes the deployment of captive autonomous (SA) and non-autonomous (NSA) 5G modes for core and radio networks in urban and rural areas of Chandigarh.

The phone company headed by Sunil Mittal is an early member of the O-RAN Alliance since 2018, along with AT&T, Orange, Vodafone Group, China Mobile and Deutsche Telekom, and spearheads open architecture innovation-driven. Rival Reliance Jio, a strong advocate for open technology, is also a member of the Germany-based group.

The request to Bharti Airtel did not elicit a response.

Lately, the open architecture-based approach has gained momentum in India with incumbents such as Reliance Jio entering into partnerships with NXP and Qualcomm, while the Vodafone group, which operates in India with Idea Cellular of the group Aditya Birla as

or Vi, has previously teamed up with Korean Samsung and Japanese NEC.

In August this year, Bharti Airtel Managing Director Gopal Vittal said the phone company continues to lead the Open RAN initiative in India by partnering with “top companies” such as Mavenir, Red Hat, Intel and Qualcomm. It has also entered into a strategic partnership with the Tata group to deploy an open network developed locally.

In 2020, Airtel rolled out Rakuten-owned Altiostar’s Open Virtual Radio Access Network (vRAN), while rival Jio said in August last year that it had developed and tested a 5G OpenRAN solution. native disaggregated, reaching 1 gigabit per second.

Telecommunications operators switching to non-proprietary networks thanks to estimated total cost of ownership (TCO) savings of up to 35%, analysts say, however, would be a spoiler for the dominance of players such as the Swedish Ericsson and Finnish Nokia.

Open RAN uses out-of-the-box software and hardware components and provides further savings on capital investment (capex) and operating expense (opex) as it enables the deployment of virtualized functions with dynamic alignment capacity and demand.

In May of this year, the Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing (WPC) of the Telecommunications Department (DoT) allocated waves to Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea in the 700 Mhz, 3500 Mhz and 26 Ghz bands. for a period of six months for the next generation. network tests.

Meanwhile, the department recently granted a six-month extension for service operators to conduct 5G field trials through May 2022 to develop locally relevant 5G use cases.