The Indian telecom service provider won 19,867.8MHz spectrum during the recently held 5G spectrum held by the Government of India


Airtel to begin 5G deployment in India from this month. (Credit: Bhartiairtel/

Bharti Airtel (Airtel) has entered into 5G network agreements with Nokia, Ericsson, and Samsung with an aim to begin 5G deployment in India starting this month.

The agreements follow Airtel’s acquisition of 19,867.8MHz spectrum in 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 3300MHz, and 26GHz bands during the recently held 5G spectrum auction of the Indian government. Airtel will pay INR430.48bn ($5.5bn) for the spectrum.

The Indian communications solutions provider said that the selection of multiple partners will allow for introducing 5G services spanning low latency, ultra-high-speeds, and large data handling capabilities. This will facilitate a superior user experience and enable the pursuit of new, innovative use cases with industry and enterprise customers, said Airtel.

Airtel MD and CEO Gopal Vittal said: “Our network agreements are finalised and Airtel will work with the best technology partners from across the world to deliver the full benefits of 5G connectivity to our consumers.

“India’s transition into a digital economy will be led by telecom and 5G presents a game-changing opportunity to drive the digital transformation of industries, enterprises and the socio-economic development of India.”

Nokia said that it has bagged a multi-year contract with Airtel for deploying 5G radio access network (RAN). As part of this, the Finnish firm will supply equipment from its AirScale portfolio, which features modular and scalable baseband and 5G massive MIMO radios.

Nokia president and CEO Pekka Lundmark said: “This landmark deal reinforces our long-standing partnership with Bharti Airtel.

“We are delighted that they have chosen Nokia’s best-in-class AirScale baseband and radio portfolio to deliver superior 5G performance in one of the world’s largest networks.”

Ericsson said that its contract with Airtel will see the latter deploy its 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) products as well as solutions from the Ericsson Radio System and Ericsson microwave mobile transport solutions.

Under the contract, the Swedish firm will deliver 5G connectivity in 12 circles in India for Airtel.

The Indian communications solutions provider said that it is for the first time it will be working together with Samsung, which will serve as its network partner to deploy the 5G services.