In an effort to boost network performance for the upcoming 5G and edge computing era, Bharti Airtel on Monday said it has chosen global software giant IBM and Red Hat to build a new telco network Cloud.
Using IBM and Red Hat's portfolio of Hybrid Cloud and cognitive enterprise capabilities, Airtel aims to adopt an open cloud architecture that uses Red Hat OpenStack Platform for all network workloads and Red Hat OpenShift for newer containerised workloads, the company said in a statement.
Red Hat's industry-leading open source technology became part of IBM last year after completion of a $34 billion deal.
"As part of our endeavour to build a 5G ready network for India's requirements, we are pleased to collaborate with IBM and Red Hat in our cloud journey," said Randeep Sekhon, CTO, Bharti Airtel.
"The Hybrid Cloud architecture will resonate with our customer-obsession by providing improved flexibility, network stability and performance and bringing agility and automation in our network operations," Sekhon added.
In another bid to strengthen its 4G network and enhance 5G capabilities in India, Bharti Airtel last month signed a $1 billion (nearly Rs 7,636 crore), multi-year deal with Nokia to deploy the Finnish majorâ€™s 5G-ready solutions across nine circles in the country.
Nokia will help lay the foundation for providing 5G connectivity in the future by deploying 300,000 radio units across several spectrum bands in those circles, expected to be completed by 2022.
With IBM-Red Hat technology, Airtel will be able to deliver a better customer experience by reducing latency and improve bandwidth availability and automation, thereby strengthening the overall quality of the network.
By embracing IBM and Red Hat's hybrid cloud technology all the way to the network edge, Airtel said it aims to achieve improvement in time-to-market of services, reduction in operating expenses and reduced capital expenses.
"Through its collaboration with IBM and Red Hat, Airtel will be building a modern, innovative and more responsive network infused with automation and AI, that will provide the consistency and agility needed for today's rapidly changing marketplace," said Steve Canepa, Global Managing Director, Communications Sector and Worldwide Head of Telecommunications, Media & Entertainment Industry, IBM.
The global software giant IBM last week announced several multi-cloud offerings that run on Red Hat OpenShift, a leading enterprise Kubernetes platform.
"Red Hat is providing innovative open source solutions to help Airtel improve flexibility and reduce development time, so they can stay competitive in the rapidly evolving telecommunications market," said Darrell Jordan-Smith, global vice president, vertical industries and accounts, Red Hat.