Telecom operator Bharti Airtel today announced a strategic partnership with South Korean telecom operator SK Telecom, known for using latest technologies, to build the most advanced telecom network in India. The two companies will also collaborate on an on-going basis to evolve standards for 5G and advanced technologies like network functions virtualisation (NFV), software-defined networking (SDN) and Internet of Things (IoT), Bharti Airtel said in a statement.
The companies will jointly work towards building an enabling ecosystem for the introduction of these technologies in the Indian context. “This partnership will bring a dramatically improved experience to Airtel customers in India by leveraging the expertise of a company that has built one of the best mobile broadband networks in the world,” Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said.
The capacity to identify, monitor and deliver improvements to the network experience on an individual device basis will be a first in India, helped by SK Telecom’s global leadership in this area, the statement said. There has been a quest among Indian telecom operators for delivering high speed mobile broadband to consumers. As per data published by sector regulator TRAI, Reliance Jio has been offering about double the speed delivered by its closest rival at around 18 megabit per second.
SK Telecom has led the development of the global mobile telecommunications industry by launching CDMA (2G), WCDMA (3G) and LTE-A (4G) for the first time in the world. The company has been offering up to 500 Mbps 4G speed using carrier aggregation technology. In 2014, SK Telecom demonstrated 600 Mbps data transmission rates using a technology provided by Nokia Networks. Mittal said that Airtel has always looked ahead to bring the latest technology to India.
“With SK Telecom’s clear and undisputed leadership in technology, this is one partnership that will decisively change the game in India and put the country at par with the most advanced broadband nations in the world,” he said. Under the partnership, both the companies will work across several areas including developing bespoke software to improve network experience, leveraging advanced digital tools including machine learning, big data and building customised tools to improve network planning based on every customer’s device experience.
“SK Telecom is delighted to announce a strategic partnership with Bharti Airtel. SK Telecom will work closely with Bharti to achieve new network innovations so as to deliver a greater value to Bharti’s customers,” SK Telecom President and CEO Park Jung-ho said. SK Telecom is Korea’s largest telecommunications company with more than 29 million mobile subscribers, which accounts for around 50 per cent of the total market.