Indian operator Bharti Airtel and social technology giant Meta Platforms say they plan to jointly invest in global connectivity infrastructure and CPaaS-based new-age digital solutions to support the emerging requirements of customers and enterprises in India.
As part of this collaboration, Airtel will partner with Meta and Saudi Arabia’s STC to extend 2Africa, the world’s longest subsea cable system, to India. Airtel and Meta will extend the cable to Airtel’s landing station in Mumbai and also pick up dedicated capacity to further strengthen its submarine network portfolio.
The partners say the 2Africa cable will significantly boost India’s cable capacity and empower global hyperscalers and businesses to build new integrated solutions and provide a high-quality seamless experience to customers.
Airtel has also signed an agreement to help increase the operational efficiency of open RAN and facilitate energy management and automation in radio networks using advanced analytics and AI/ML models.
Airtel is currently conducting trials for 4G and 5G open RAN solutions on selected sites in the state of Haryana and will commercially deploy the solution across several locations in India over the next few quarters. Airtel will share its learnings with wider ecosystem partners, including Meta, to help accelerate the deployment of open RAN-based networks across the world.
In addition Airtel says it will also integrate Meta’s WhatsApp within Airtel IQ, the world’s first network embedded communications platform as a service (CPaaS) ecosystem. Airtel IQ offers cloud communication across voice, messaging and video channels to help enterprises transform their customer engagement and drive profitability by leveraging automation and boosting revenue.
With this integration, say the partners, businesses will now be able to use WhatsApp’s rich features and reach to provide an unparalleled omni-channel customer engagement to enterprises.