Airtel completes Open Hybrid Cloud Network built with IBM and Red Hat

Bharti Airtel has completed the first phase of Airtel’s Open Hybrid Cloud Network built with IBM and Red Hat’s portfolio of hybrid cloud and cognitive enterprise capabilities.
Airtel mobile network IndiaTelecom operators worldwide are expected to spend over $111 billion by 2022 upgrading their network cloud and platform.

Airtel has been working with IBM to integrate advanced automation and plans to embed AI capabilities in the future as a core part of its network transformation.

In this first phase, IBM and Airtel have co-developed a “single click” automated hybrid cloud design and deployment capability and “light touch” operations. This will enable Airtel, the second largest telecom operator in India, to improve network connectivity and accelerate its continued core network transformation.

The architecture, which is built on open source technology, including Red Hat OpenStack Platform and Red Hat OpenShift, enables Airtel to manage communications across distributed network environments. This gives Airtel’s customers and ecosystem partners the flexibility to create more targeted, cutting edge solutions in the cloud or on-premises location of their choosing.

Additionally, this open architecture enables Airtel to embrace open source Radio Access Network (RAN) to improve  interoperability for ecosystem partners using RAN equipment.

Airtel’s Open Hybrid Cloud Network will help millions of partners and customers harness the power of emerging technologies like 5G and edge computing. For example, a customer could use the network to leverage AI, IoT and edge computing capabilities to power applications that can deliver better insights from factory floors or enable remote doctor visits.

IBM Services is setting up the infrastructure, designing and implementing Airtel’s open hybrid cloud network and executing overall program management.

“Airtel has been at the forefront of adopting leading edge technologies to modernize our network architecture. By adopting an open hybrid cloud network with the support of IBM and Red Hat we are building a scalable network to serve our customers with best-in-class services.” said Randeep Sekhon, CTO, Bharti Airtel.

“Together with Airtel, our automation benchmarks have demonstrated our approach can shorten RAN service deployment times from weeks to a few days,” said Steve Canepa,  managing director, Communications Sector and worldwide head of Telecommunications, Media & Entertainment Industry, IBM.