Airtel announces India’s first automated Ethernet over fibre network

Airtel announces India’s first automated Ethernet over fibre network

Indian operator Bharti Airtel has announced plans to collaborate with technology company Cisco to launch what Cisco calls India’s largest 5G-ready, 100G IP and optical integrated network designed to enhance network availability, capacity and scale.

The deployment is part of Airtel’s initiative to build a 5G-ready network that continues to serve the growing demand for high-speed data services in the country. It’s an initiative that certainly has a market to aim for if Cisco’s recent Annual Internet Report is correct. The report forecasts that 5G will be 4.9 percent of total mobile connections by 2023. That may not sound like a lot but it means that there will be 67.2 million 5G connections in India by that date.

Airtel’s network serves over 280 million mobile subscribers across 4G and 2G technologies. This new IP over Ethernet over fibre network is described as the largest hyper-complex brownfield network transformation of its kind in India, collapsing multiple legacy domains to build what Cisco calls a flatter, simpler and automated 5G-ready IP network.

It integrates Cisco IP and optical solutions along with segment routing to more easily extend services in rural communities while, the company adds, significantly improving network availability and creating cost efficiencies.

The simple, flexible and self-healing architecture is built with an agile, programmable and software-defined platform to deliver exponential mobile internet growth, Cisco says, adding that the open standards architecture with automation brings in efficiencies for new and legacy infrastructure, eliminating manual touchpoints in a brownfield environment.

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