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Sunil Mittal on Airtel 5G in India

Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal said the company will be at the forefront of bringing 5G connectivity to India with a robust network to support the country’s digital-first economy.

Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal said the company will be at the forefront of bringing 5G connectivity to India with a robust network to support the country’s digital-first economy.

Mittal’s comments are significant as the countdown to the 5G spectrum auction begins.

A total of 72 GHz (gigahertz) radiowaves worth at least Rs. 4.3 lakh crore will be blocked during the auction, which is scheduled to begin on July 26.

As a precursor to the mega event, the Department of Telecom is organizing a mock auction (mock drill) on Friday and Saturday (July 22 and July 23).

Billionaire Gautam Adani’s flagship Adani Enterprises Ltd, a unit of Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea is set to participate in the 5G spectrum auction.

India’s market is ready for 5G services, which will bring ultra-high speeds (about 10 times faster than 4G) and new-age services and business models.

In Bharti Airtel’s Annual Report 2021-22, Sunil Mittal said, “We are proud to say that Airtel will be at the forefront of bringing 5G connectivity to India with a robust network that will support India’s digital-first economy.”

Mittal pointed out that Airtel has taken the lead in 5G by testing the network ahead of the competition and became the first operator in India to demonstrate the 5G cloud gaming experience and conduct a successful 700 Mhz band trial for rural connectivity.

In his message to shareholders titled ‘Move forward with courage and confidence’, Mittal also said that digital services will, over the next few years, add billions of dollars to the company’s revenue while maintaining an asset light approach.

This confidence was fueled by the early success of Airtel’s digital efforts, he explained.

Amidst new COVID-19 strains, geopolitical crises, rising commodity prices and high inflation, India emerged as a bright spot in the global economy during the financial year, Mittal wrote.

“We must all be ready to take a big step and have the courage to do things in new ways with new confidence,” he said.

Airtel’s managing director, Gopal Vittal, said the company is “fully prepared” for 5G and its core network, radio network and transport network are fully future-proofed.

“… We demonstrated our readiness for 5G with the industry’s first trial focused on both consumer and industrial use cases,” Vittal said.


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