Bharti Airtel has announced its intentions to work with US chipmaker Qualcomm for 5G services in India. The company is trying to pioneer the latest generation of wireless network technology in the world’s second-largest wireless market.
The company said in a statement to stock exchanges that it will use Qualcomm’s Radio Access Network platforms, which runs services on the cloud, to facilitate the roll-out of 5G networks in the country.
“This collaboration … aims to allow a faster rollout of broadband services … across India for “last mile” connectivity challenges that are becoming increasingly important in today’s remote, mobile-first society,” the company said.
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In India, the telecoms companies are also concerned by the relatively high pricing of spectrum in India. The country plans to auction the bands that will support 5G in the next six months, according to a preparedness report by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology
Its rivals, Jio Telecoms, has previously said it built an in-house 5G solution and is ready to roll out services as soon as airwaves are made available. Jio’s parent company, Reliance raised about $97 million in 2020 from Qualcomm for its digital unit armhouses Jio.
5G promises up to 20 times the speed of the current technology and is set to be the frontier for mobile networks. In the world’s second-largest, both Bharti Airtel and Jio would want to be ahead in the 5G market.
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