Airtel deploys India's 1st private 5G network amid heated industry debate

The COAI said in a statement that the 5G spectrum should not be provided on an administrative basis as it leads to no business case for the rollout of 5G networks in the country.

Published: 15th July 2022 05:37 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th July 2022 05:37 PM   |  A+A-

Bharti Airtel


BENGALURU: Amid the heated debate on allowing enterprises to build captive private 5G networks as India prepares for a 5G spectrum auction, Bharti Airtel on Friday announced a successful trial of India's first 5G private network at Bosch Automotive Electronics India (RBAI) facility here.

The on-premise 5G Captive Private Network was built over the trial 5G spectrum allocated by the Department of Telecom (DoT).

Airtel said it has implemented two industrial-grade use cases for quality improvement and operational efficiency at Bosch's manufacturing facility, utilising the trial spectrum.

In both cases, 5G technology such as mobile broadband and ultra-reliable low latency communications drove automated operations ensuring faster scale up and reduced downtimes.

"We believe that Airtel has the world-class infrastructure, partnerships and expertise to deliver Captive Private Network Solution in any part of the country and to enterprises of any size," said Ajay Chitkara, Director and CEO, Airtel Business.

The Department of Telecom has released a notice inviting applications (NIA) for the auction of spectrum in 600, 700, 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2300, 2500, 3300 MHz and 26GHz bands.

The NIA provides explicit clarity on the subject of Captive Non-Public Networks (CNPN).

The private network set up on the trial spectrum at the Bosch facility has the capability to manage thousands of connected devices along with delivering multi- GBPS throughput, said Airtel.

"The low latency and reliable connectivity provided by the Airtel Private 5G network at our facility which was experienced during the proof of concept is enabling us to enhance our efficiency and our productivity," said Subhash P., Head of Technical Functions, Bosch Automotive Electronics India.

Last year, Airtel successfully demonstrated India's first 5G experience over a live 4G network in Hyderabad. It has also demonstrated India's first rural 5G trial as well as the first cloud gaming experience on 5G.

Meanwhile, the Broadband India Forum (BIF) on Friday said the choice of service provider for captive private 5G networks must lie with the enterprises.

"The enterprises would have to make do with whatever is offered by the telecom service providers (TSPs), whether satisfactory or not," said BIF President T.V. Ramachandran.

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the industry's apex body representing telcos, on Thursday urged the government not to allow Big Tech companies to enter the 5G spectrum auction this month via back door channels.

The COAI said in a statement that the 5G spectrum should not be provided on an administrative basis as it leads to no business case for the rollout of 5G networks in the country.


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