Bharti Airtel is a member of the O-RAN Alliance and TIP

Bharti Airtel has deployed Altiostar’s open virtual radio access network (vRAN) solution across multiple major cities in India, making it the first Indian operator to deploy vRAN-based 4G network. Bharti Airtel plans to develop open VRAN-based 4G and 5G use cases, services and applications on its network, the companies said in a statement.

According to Altiostar, the solution which has 5G ready software, would provide seamless evolution to 5G using the same 4G architecture. Further, the idea is that the implementation of cloud-based open vRAN technologies will be critical in bringing network slicing to Bharti Airtel’s network.

Randeep Sekhon, Bharti Airtel CTO, said Open vRAN will provide an “innovative technology break-through” for the operator and is “essential for the deployment of next-generation 4G and 5G technologies.”

“We look forward to closely working with Altiostar for our vRAN deployment which is a significant aspect of our network strategy,” added Sekhon.

“This collaboration with Bharti Airtel is exciting because the size and breadth of its network will demonstrate the innovation and the disruption that open vRAN solutions are bringing to the industry,” said Ashraf Dahod, president and CEO, Altiostar. “India is a mobile-first market that leads the world in mobile data and video consumption and by deploying Altiostar open vRAN solution, Bharti Airtel can evolve its network to maintain its leadership and continue its mission to provide customers with exceptional experiences.”

Bharti Airtel’s has demonstrated an ongoing and active interest in Open vRAN standardization efforts. The operator is a member of the O-RAN alliance and made headlines for being one of the earliest members of Facebook’s Telecom Infra Project (TIP), a global initiative founded by Facebook and a handful of telecoms companies to create a new approach to building and deploying telecom network infrastructure.

For its part, Altiostar, in partnership with Cisco and WWT, has made efforts to develop a technology blueprint for RAN modernization, assemble the kit, test and validate the set up, then sell a fully integrated 4G/5G solution in an effort to drive operator adoption of this new network model.

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