Airtel, Meta Platforms forge India digital play

Bharti Airtel marked the improvement of open RAN and cloud platforms as the next big moves under its latest tie-up with Meta Platforms, with the pair set to focus on advancing India’s digital market by boosting connectivity infrastructure.

In a statement, Airtel revealed its collaboration with Meta Platforms will centre on advancing connectivity by investing in cloud technology and bringing 2Africa, the world’s longest submarine cable, to Airtel’s Mumbai station.

The companies noted the partnership is based on preparations for 5G rollouts, detailing the tie-up will involve using the operator’s cloud-based platform, Airtel IQ, in the entrepreneurial sector.

Plans also include the integration of WhatsApp features into Airtel’s cloud services to drive customer engagement with local businesses, alongside maximising open RAN technology currently being trialled.

The pair noted Airtel is set to deploy open RAN technology in selected sites “over the next few quarters”.

Additionally, Meta Platforms and Airtel will work with Saudi Telecom Company in the cable expansion to strengthen India’s “submarine network portfolio” and deliver high-speed digital services.

“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”, Vani Venkatesh, CEO of global business at Airtel said.