Airtel to be at forefront of 5G connectivity in India: Chairman, Sunil Mittal

With 5G spectrum auction set to commence next week, Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal has said the company will be at the forefront of bringing 5G connectivity to India with a powerful network that will support the country’s digital-first economy.

Airtel to be at forefront of 5G connectivity in India: Chairman, Sunil Mittal
The spectrum auction, through which airwaves worth Rs 4.3 trillion will be put on sale, will begin on July 26.

With 5G spectrum auction set to commence next week, Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal has said the company will be at the forefront of bringing 5G connectivity to India with a powerful network that will support the country’s digital-first economy. The spectrum auction, through which airwaves worth Rs 4.3 trillion will be put on sale, will begin on July 26. Four companies, including the three telecom operators — Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea and new entrant Adani Group, have applied for buying spectrum.

Airtel, as per Mittal, has already taken a lead in 5G by testing the network ahead of the competition and became the first operator in India to demonstrate a 5G cloud gaming experience and conduct a successful 700 Mhz band trial for rural connectivity.

“We can proudly say that Airtel will be at the forefront of bringing 5G connectivity to India with a powerful network that will support India’s digital-first economy,” Mittal said in the company’s annual report for FY 2021-22.

As per the annual report, Airtel has demonstrated multiple use cases for businesses and consumers alike, further cementing its position at the forefront of a big change awaiting India.

“Given the strong and focused investments over the last few years, we have developed a truly 5G ready network covering all the aspects of the network including devices, radio, transport, core and digital tools. “This, in turn, is enabling a future-ready Airtel to bring 5G to reality,” Airtel said.

The country is gearing up for commercial launch of 5G services, that will usher in ultra-high speeds for customers while enabling deployment of new age technologies across sectors.

In his message to shareholders titled ‘Onwards with courage and confidence’, Mittal said digital services, in the next few years, will add several billion dollars to the company’s revenue while maintaining an asset light approach. This confidence is borne out by the early successes in Airtel’s digital endeavors, he elaborated.

“Amidst new Covid-19 variants, geopolitical crises, soaring commodity prices and high inflation, the financial year saw India emerge as a bright spot in the global economy. “We must all prepare to take a big step forward and have the courage to do things in a new way with renewed confidence,” he said.

Mittal said digitisation has proved to be a bulwark for the economy during the pandemic and will continue to be the most powerful force of socio-economic change in the country.

“It is my strong belief that Airtel must continue its role in India’s digitisation journey. Keeping this in mind, Airtel raised nearly $3.5 billion in equity to add to our capacity to execute faster across our national footprint,” Mittal added.

Airtel managing director Gopal Vittal said the company is fully ready for 5G and that its core network, radio network and transport network is fully future proofed. “… We demonstrated our readiness for 5G by conducting industry first trials that focused on both consumer and industrial use cases,” Vittal said.

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