Bharti Airtel, India’s second largest telecom operator, entered into a collaboration with French information technology and consulting company Capgemini on Tuesday, under which they will combine their experience in connectivity and 5G solutions and system integration capabilities to develop a range of India-focused 5G enterprise solutions.
Capgemini’s Mumbai-based 5G lab and Bharti Airtel’s 5G lab in Manesar will be the development hubs for developing local 5G use cases.
“Airtel has been leading 5G testing and validation in India and looks forward to building an open and vibrant ecosystem that brings together all stakeholders and drives innovation. Through this partnership with Capgemini, we look forward to offering our customers cutting edge solutions, which deliver the benefits of the 5G technology,” Ganesh Lakshminarayanan, CEO, Enterprise Business, Airtel Business, said in a joint statement.
Capgemini said that it has already deployed two 5G use cases at Airtel’s 5G lab focused on smart health and immersive remote assistance for field operations and maintenance.
Capgemini said that these use case solutions leverage computer vision, video analytics, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
“Through this partnership, our focus will be on enabling enterprises to leverage the benefits of 5G technology and identifying exciting new use cases to fuel innovation, revolutionise business models and accelerate digital transformation,” Ananth Chandramouli, managing director of the India Business Unit at Capgemini, said.
Capgemini recently joined hands with Swedish telecom gear maker Ericsson to accelerate the deployment of 5G solutions in India. It deployed the 5G (standalone) Industry Connect solution from Ericsson at its 5G Lab in Mumbai to enable industry innovation, experimentation and deployment of 5G and edge technologies for clients across industries.
The Sunil Mittal-led telecom operator is aggressively working on developing 5G-based enterprise solutions before it commercially launched 5G services in the country after next year’s scheduled spectrum auction.
Airtel has already launched its 5G initiative,#5GforBusiness, under which the telco is collaborating with telecom gear vendors, as well as global consulting and technology companies, to test 5G-based solutions.
Airtel is partnering with Accenture, Amazon Web Services, Cisco, Ericsson, Google Cloud, Nokia and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to demonstrate enterprise-grade use cases using high-speed, low-latency 5G networks.
The telecom operator is working with brands such as Apollo Hospitals and Flipkart, and with manufacturing companies to test 5G-based solutions. It is currently running 5G field trials in various cities.
Earlier this year, Airtel demonstrated India’s first 5G experience over a live 4G network. It has also demonstrated India’s first rural 5G trial, as well as the first cloud gaming experience on 5G as part of its ongoing large-scale 5G field trials.
A number of Indian IT companies are also joining the 5G bandwagon by setting up private 5G testbeds to test the technology and develop new solutions. IT companies like TCS, Tech Mahindra and L&T Technology Services are seeking trial 5G spectrum licenses to begin pilots with Indian telecom operators, which themselves are conducting large-scale trials in the country.
These companies aim to use these labs build 5G solutions and use cases for both local and international clients.