To support the growth of India’s digital ecosystem, Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) and Meta Platforms, Inc. (“Meta”) announced a new collaboration today to jointly invest in global connectivity infrastructure and CPaaS-based new-age digital solutions. The three-tiered partnership will support the emerging requirements of customers and enterprises in India in the following areas:
- Digital Infrastructure: Airtel will partner with Meta and STC to extend the 2Africa Pearls – the world’s longest subsea cable system – to Airtel’s landing station in Mumbai and pick up dedicated capacity. Investing in subsea cable systems is essential for supporting the rising demand for high-speed data and digital services as India rolls out its 5G networks. The 2Africa Pearls cable is expected to provide faster internet connectivity to almost 3 billion people globally and will significantly boost India’s cable capacity, expowering global hyperscalers and business to build new integrated solutions.
- Network Technologies: Airtel signed an agreement to help with increasing the operational efficiency of Open RAN and facilitating energy management and automation in radio networks using advanced analytics and AI/ML models. To achieve this, 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. Airtel will share its learnings with wider ecosystem partners within the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) community, including Meta, to help accelerate the deployment of Open RAN based networks across the world. Both pioneers of Open RAN technologies and members of the TIP, Airtel and Meta have a shared goal of increasing ecosystem diversity, driving innovation and cost efficiency for networks.
- CPaaS: Airtel will integrate Meta’s WhatsApp into its Airtel IQ Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) ecosystem. Airtel IQ, the world’s first network-embedded CPaaS solution, offers cloud communication across voice, messaging and video channels to enhance enterprises’ customer engagement and drive profitability as Indian businesses rapidly shift to cloud-based communications solutions. With this integration, businesses can use WhatsApp’s rich features and reach to provide unparalleled omni-channel customer engagement.
Altogether, Airtel and Meta’s partnership aims to enable high-quality connectivity and world-class digital services for consumers in India.
“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,” said Vani Venkatesh, CEO of Global Business for Bharti Airtel. “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. We look forward to working closely with Meta to deliver best-in-class digital experiences to our customers in India.”
Added Francisco Varela, vice president of mobile partnerships for Meta: “Subsea cables and open, disaggregated networks continue to play a huge role in the foundational infrastructure needed to support network capacity and fuel innovation. 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.”
To read the full press release, visit www.airtel.in.
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