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Airtel works with Indian academic institutions to monetize 5G

According to Airtel, 5G Reduced Capacity could be a top use case of 5G-Advanced

Indian operator Bharti Airtel is working with academic institutions in India to explore 5G monetization opportunities, local newspaper The Economic Times reported.

“We have already made massive investments into the network and it has resulted in the improvement in the digital quality life index and speed of the internet in India. The government of India took the bold step of setting up 100 5G use case labs. We are working with several premier institutes to look at how these new use cases (and) monetization opportunities could essentially come in,” said Saurabh Mittal, head of standards and tech ecosystem at Airtel.

A total of 100 5G use case labs are being set up across India with funding from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), particularly in the east zone, with 30 institutions, including IIT Guwahati, according to the report.

According to Airtel, 5G Reduced Capacity (RedCap) could be a top use case of 5G-Advanced. “Some part of 5G-Advanced is essentially reducing the capabilities of 5G,” Mittal said, noting that supporting the full capabilities of 5G technology could be expensive for certain use cases.

In September 2023, Bharti Airtel said its 5G service was accessible across all districts and union territories in India. According to previous reports, the operator was on track to cover the entire country with this technology by March 2024.

Airtel is currently using equipment from Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung to provide 5G services. The Indian operator had secured a total of 19,800 megahertz of spectrum in the 900 MHz, 1.8 GHz, 2.1 GHz, 3.3 GHz and 26 GHz bands in a previous auction carried out by the Indian government.

In August 2023, Airtel announced that its 5G FWA offering, dubbed Airtel Xstream AirFiber, was available for its customers in Delhi and Mumbai. The operator said that the 5G FWA service, which will offer internet to consumers in fiber dark areas, will address the last-mile connectivity issue in both rural and urban India where access to fiber infrastructure is a challenge.

Airtel also noted that Xstream AirFiber is a plug-and-play device, with built-in Wi-Fi 6 technology that will offer wide indoor coverage and can simultaneously connect up to 64 devices. Airtel said it plans to launch the service in multiple cities and scale up nationally in phases.


Juan Pedro Tomás
Juan Pedro Tomás
Juan Pedro covers Global Carriers and Global Enterprise IoT. Prior to RCR, Juan Pedro worked for Business News Americas, covering telecoms and IT news in the Latin American markets. He also worked for Telecompaper as their Regional Editor for Latin America and Asia/Pacific. Juan Pedro has also contributed to Latin Trade magazine as the publication's correspondent in Argentina and with political risk consultancy firm Exclusive Analysis, writing reports and providing political and economic information from certain Latin American markets. He has a degree in International Relations and a master in Journalism and is married with two kids.