Bharti Airtel goes with Ericsson for 5G core

Move comes after telco announced it was using Huawei for microwave links last month.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

Despite recently announcing it had rolled out over 100 hops using microwave Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology from Huawei in September, Bharti Airtel announced on Tuesday it has selected Ericsson equipment for its core 5G network.

Ericsson said Airtel would use its 5G-ready Cloud Packet Core product.

"The Indian telecom market is witnessing massive surge in data usage. To address this demand and evolving consumption patterns, we are investing in innovative technologies and solutions to enable a superlative data experience for our customers in India," Bharti Airtel CTO Randeep Sekhon said.

"Ericsson is one of our key network partners and this deployment will help us enhance our packet core network which will not just scale up data capacity, but also make us edge cloud ready."

India is currently mulling whether to allow Huawei to be used in the nation's 5G rollout.

See: Will India allow Huawei to sell its 5G networking equipment in the country?

In its first quarter earnings reported last month, Singtel Group saw its underlying net profit shrink by 22% to SG$575 million thanks to a SG$162 million exceptional loss by Airtel.

The loss by Airtel was related to provisioning for "derivative liabilities relating to customary indemnities provided to a group of investors of Airtel Africa and expenses relating to its listing", as well as depreciating 3G assets and spectrum refarming.

Last month, Ericsson said it would take around 12 billion Swedish krona, approximately $1 billion, to resolve an investigation into its compliance with the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

The US Securities and Exchange Commission kicked off its investigation into Ericsson back in 2013, and the Department of Justice became involved in 2015.

The investigation covers a four-year period that ended in the first quarter of 2017, and according to Ericsson, revealed breaches of the FCPA and its code of business ethics in six countries: China, Djibouti, Indonesia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam.

The FCPA consists of US laws focusing on anti-bribery and accounting transparency.

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