Airtel And Meta To Jointly Invest In Telecom Infrastructure In India

The two will jointly invest to fulfill the demand for high-speed data and digital services in the country.

Airtel And Meta To Jointly Invest In Telecom Infrastructure In India
CPaaS will enable high-quality connectivity and world-class digital services for consumers.

BHARTI Airtel and social media giant Meta have announced a collaboration to invest in telecom infrastructure to cater to the rising demand of high-speed data and digital services in India today, according to media reports.

As members of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) Open RAN project group, Airtel and Meta have been pioneers of Open RAN (ORAN or Open Radio Access Network) technologies with the shared goal of increasing ecosystem diversity, driving innovation, and cost-efficiency in connectivity networks. Airtel has signed an agreement to help increase operational efficiency of Open RAN and facilitate energy management and automation in radio networks using advanced analytics and AI/ML models.

The announcement comes on the back of telecom operators' demand to share revenue with service providers to build networks.

"Airtel and Meta will jointly invest in global connectivity infrastructure and CPaaS (Communications Platform-as-a-Service) based new-age digital solutions to support the emerging requirements of customers and enterprises in India," the statement said.

Under the collaboration, Airtel and Meta will extend the cable to Airtel's landing station in Mumbai and also pick up dedicated capacity to further strengthen its submarine network portfolio.

As part of the collaboration, Airtel will partner with Meta and STC (Saudi Telecom Company), to extend the world's longest subsea cable system, 2Africa Pearls, to India. The plan to extend 2Africa Pearls to India was first announced by Meta in September 2021.

"The 2Africa cable will significantly boost India's cable capacity and empower global hyper-scalers and businesses to build new integrated solutions and provide a high-quality seamless experience to customers," the statement said.

"We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Airtel to further advance the region's connectivity infrastructure that will enable a better network experience for people and businesses across India," Meta, vice president of mobile partnerships, Francisco Varela said.

Airtel will also integrate Meta's WhatsApp within its CPaaS platform. With this integration, businesses will now be able to use WhatsApp and reach to provide omnichannel customer engagement to enterprises.

Airtel and Meta are members of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) Open RAN project group. Airtel has signed an agreement to help increase operational efficiency of Open RAN (radio access network) and facilitate energy management and automation in radio networks using advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning models.

Airtel is currently conducting trials for 4G and 5G Open RAN solutions on select sites in the state of Haryana and will commercially deploy the solution across several locations in India over the next few quarters, the statement said.

"We, at Airtel, are delighted to deepen our partnership with Meta to serve India's digitally connected economy by leveraging the technology and infrastructure strengths of both companies. With our contributions to the 2Africa cable and Open RAN, we are investing in crucial and progressive connectivity infrastructure which is needed to support the increasing demand for high-speed data in India," Bharti Airtel, CEO for Global Business, Vani Venkatesh said.

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