Bharti Airtel said on Tuesday that it would work with US chip maker Qualcomm for 5G service in India as the telecom firm set to deploy state-of-the-art wireless networks in the world’s second largest wireless market. Airtel, second only to Reliance Industries-owned Jio in terms of subscriber numbers, said in a statement to stock exchanges that it would use Qualcomm’s radio access network platform, which operates services on the cloud. Its Via Airtel will launch 5G network in India.
Airtel said, “This tie-up has been done with the intention of introducing fast broadband services, which will be launched across the country as it is becoming increasingly important in today’s times.”
While the needs of high-speed Internet services have been underlined during the work-from-home phase of the epidemic, India’s 5G ambition has not been met due to delays in auction of spectrum supported by this technology. Telecom companies have voiced their concerns over the relatively high prices of spectrum in India. Some spectrum in the country is likely to be auctioned in March, but the band supporting 5G may be auctioned anytime in the next six months. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology has said these things in a report regarding the preparation on 5G.
This technology promises to deliver Internet speeds up to 20 times faster than existing networks. Jio has already said that it has designed an in-house 5G solution and is ready to start services with the availability of spectrum. The parent company Reliance last year raised about $ 97 million from Qualcomm for its digital unit (Jio). According to regulatory data, Airtel’s market share has grown faster than Mukesh Ambani’s Jio in the last few months of the year 2020.
Airtel’s association comes at a time when Indian government officials have expressed concern over China’s telecom equipment maker Huawei’s use of telecom gear, which is accused of spying in the US.