Airtel taps Cisco to launch 5G-ready, 100G IP and optical network

Bharti Airtel announced its partnership with Cisco to launch India’s largest 5G-ready, 100G IP and optical integrated network to enhance network capacity.
Airtel business customers
The deployment is part of Airtel’s initiative to build a 5G ready network that continues to serve the growing demand for high speed data services in the country.

Cisco’s recent Annual Internet Report forecasts there will be 67.2 million 5G connections in India by 2023 (4.9 percent of total mobile connections), and 66 percent of all devices will be mobile connected by 2023, (34 percent will be wired or connected over Wi-Fi).

Airtel’s network serves over 280 million mobile subscribers across 4G and 2G technologies. This new IP over Ethernet over Fiber network is the largest hyper-complex brownfield network transformation of its kind in India, collapsing multiple legacy domains to build a flatter, simpler and automated 5G-ready IP network for enhanced customer experiences.

It integrates Cisco IP and optical solutions along with segment routing to more easily extend services in rural communities while significantly improving network availability and creating cost efficiencies.

The self-healing architecture has already realized significant speeds with scale to enable new, advanced B2B and B2C services. The open standards architecture with automation brings in efficiencies for new and legacy infrastructure, eliminating manual touchpoints in a brownfield environment.

“Airtel continues to transform its network to ensure greater availability and reach across India to deliver best-in-class mobile experience for our customers,” said Randeep Sekhon, CTO of Bharti Airtel.

Anand Bhaskar, managing director, Cisco Service Provider Business, India and SAARC, said: “Together we are delivering an IP and optical network throughout India that enables broader mobile access to connect more people, and more businesses who can do more with the internet.”