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MUMBAI: Telecom major Bharti Airtel and Tata Group on Monday announced a strategic partnership for implementing 5G networks solutions for India.

As per the partnership, Bharti Airtel will pilot and deploy Tata's technology as part of its 5G rollout plans. Airtel will start the pilot in January 2022.

Tata Group has developed a state-of-the-art O-RAN based Radio and NSA/SA Core and has integrated a totally indigenous telecom stack leveraging the Group capabilities and that of its partners. This will be available for commercial development starting January 2022, as per a joint statement issued by the companies.

“We are delighted to join forces with the Tata Group to make India a global hub for 5G and allied technologies. With its world-class technology ecosystem and talent pool, India is well positioned to build cutting edge solutions and applications for the world. This will also provide a massive boost to India becoming an innovation and manufacturing destination," said Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel.

"Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) brings its global system integration expertise and to align the end-to-end solution to both 3GPP and O-RAN standards, as the network and equipment are increasingly embedded into software," the company said, adding that these ‘Made in India’ 5G product and solutions are aligned to global standards, and inter operate with other products based on standard open interfaces and those defined by the O-RAN Alliance.

The 5G solutions, once commercially proven in Airtel’s diverse and brownfield network, will open export opportunities for India, which is now the second largest telecom market in the world.

“As a Group, we are excited about the opportunity presented by 5G and adjacent possibilities. We are committed to building a world-class networking equipment and solutions business to address these opportunities in networking space," said N. Ganapathy Subramaniam from TCS.

Airtel is a board member of the O-RAN Alliance and exploring and implementing O-RAN based networks in India.

Earlier this year, Airtel became the first telecom company in India to demonstrate 5G over its LIVE network in Hyderabad. The company has started 5G trials in major cities using spectrum allocated by the telecom department.

TCS is a member of the O-RAN Alliance.

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