India’s Bharti Airtel said on Tuesday it would collaborate with U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm for launching 5G services in the world’s second largest wireless market.
The country’s No. 2 telecom operator will use Qualcomm’s Radio Access Network platform, which runs services on the cloud, to roll out 5G networks in the country. India is yet to conduct 5G spectrum auction for offering 5G spectrum for telecom operators.
Airtel rival Reliance Jio earlier said it has built an in-house 5G solution and is ready to roll out services as soon as airwaves are made available.
Jio’s parent, Reliance Industries, last year raised about $97 million from Qualcomm’s investment arm for its digital unit that houses Jio.
Randeep Sekhon, CTO of Bharti Airtel, said, “Airtel has been a pioneer of new technologies and our networks are fully ready for 5G. We are delighted to have Qualcomm Technologies as a key technology provider in our journey to roll-out world-class 5G in India.”
Rajen Vagadia, president of Qualcomm India, said: “There is a compelling case to accelerate the roll-out of 5G networks in India, as it will help fast-track the country’s socio-economic growth and development.”
Qualcomm 5G Fixed Wireless Access Platform supports virtually any combination of 5G spectrum bands and modes, from extended-range high power sub-6 to extended-range mmWave. Qualcomm 5G RAN platforms aim to deliver cutting-edge technology for virtualized, flexible and interoperable 5G infrastructure.