Airtel, Cisco partner to make legacy telecom infra ready for 5G

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BENGALURU: As part of its network preparedness, telecom major Bharti said that it was collaborating with to launch 5G-ready, 100G IP and optical integrated network, designed to enhance network availability, capacity and scale.

The company stressed that its 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.

As part of the agreement, the new deployment will integrate 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, said Airtel.

“Our ongoing collaboration with Cisco is critical in helping us to be 5G-ready, collapsing multiple legacy domains to build a flatter, simpler and automated network with more bandwidth to support internet services and the endless growth in consumer and business applications people rely on every day,” said Randeep Sekhon, CTO, Bharti Airtel.

Having an agile telecom infrastrucutre is key for Airtel’s network that serves over 280 million mobile subscribers across 4G and 2G technologies. India is currently the world’s second-largest telecommunications market with a subscriber base of 1.17 billion.

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

The company said that the new deployment relies on simple, flexible and self-healing architecture that is built with an agile, programmable and software-defined platform to deliver exponential mobile internet growth. Also, use of open standards architecture with automation brings in efficiencies for new and legacy infrastructure, eliminating manual touchpoints in a brownfield environment.

“Airtel is transforming its network to be modern, adaptable and scalable to accommodate the phenomenal mobile growth in India,” said Anand Bhaskar, Managing Director, Cisco Service Provider Business, India and SAARC.

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