Facebook’s Meta and Airtel to jointly invest in telecom infrastructure to cater rising high speed data demand

Social media giant Meta Platforms and Bharti Airtel on Monday announced a collaboration to jointly invest in telecom infrastructure to meet the growing demand for high-speed data and digital services in India.

The announcement comes against the background of telecom operators being required to share revenue with service providers to build networks.

“Airtel and Meta will jointly invest in global communications infrastructure and CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service) based on state-of-the-art digital solutions to support the emerging requirements of customers and businesses in India,” the statement said.

As part of this collaboration, Airtel will partner with Meta and STC (Saudi Telecom Company), to extend the world’s longest subsea cable system, 2Africa Pearls, to India.

Meta has announced the plan to extend 2Africa Pearls to India in September 2021.

Under this collaboration, Airtel and Meta will extend the cable to Airtel’s landing terminal in Mumbai as well as pick up dedicated capacity to further enhance its undersea network portfolio.

“2Africa Cable will significantly enhance cable capacity in India and enable super-hackers and global companies to build new end-to-end solutions and provide a seamless, high-quality experience to customers,” the statement said.

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Airtel will also integrate Meta WhatsApp within its CPaaS platform. With this integration, businesses will now be able to use WhatsApp and access customer engagement across multiple enterprise channels.

“We, at Airtel, are pleased to deepen our partnership with Meta to serve India’s digitally connected economy by leveraging the strengths in technology and infrastructure of both companies. Through our contributions to 2Africa cable and Open RAN, we are investing in critical and progressive connectivity,” said Bharti Airtel, CEO. For Global Business, Vani Venkatesh: “The Infrastructure Needed to Support the Growing Demand for High-Speed ​​Data in India.”

Airtel and Meta are members of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) Open RAN project group. Airtel has signed an agreement to help increase the operational efficiency of Open RAN (Radio Access Network) and facilitate power management and automation in radio networks using advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning models.

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The statement said that Airtel is currently conducting trials of its 4G and 5G Open RAN solutions at select locations in Haryana and will commercially roll out the solution across several locations in India over the next few quarters.

“We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Airtel to enhance the connectivity infrastructure in the region that will enable a better network experience for individuals and businesses across India,” said Francisco Varela, Vice President, Mobile Partnerships.