Bharti Airtel to expand fiber network in cities, selects Tejas Networks

Bharti Airtel, one of India’s largest telecom companies, has selected Tejas Networks, a provider network equipment and services, to expand its fiber network in major cities for 5G and broadband applications, the latter said.

“Tejas will supply, install and support its state-of-the-art TJ1600 DWDM/OTN products for extending Airtel’s optical networks towards the edge, supporting 5G backhaul, B2B services and broadband applications. The enhanced capacity will enable Airtel to deliver a superior experience to its customers as data consumption in India grows rapidly,” Tejas Networks said.

The deal is a win for Tejas, which has been facing competition from the likes of HFCL and Sterlite in the Indian market.

A large chunk of Airtel rival Reliance Jio’s fiber optic expansion contracts have gone to rival HFCL, which has also been expanding its manufacturing capacity for fiber optic cables in India.

India is witnessing one of the world’s largest expansions of fiber optic capacities as companies race to corner the market for high-speed connectivity, and get ready for 5G rollout next year.

The imposition of COVID-related restrictions led to a sharp increase in demand for high-speed connectivity to support work from home as well as remote education.

Moreover, the upcoming 5G spectrum auction — scheduled for February next year — will also kick off the upgrade of current LTE networks to the next generation. This will increase the data generated by the wireless network by 10-100 times over the next 4-5 years, all of which has to be backhauled from the cell site to the core network using fiber connections.

Randeep Sekhon, Chief Technology Officer of Bharti Airtel said this company has been making significant investments in expanding its metro network capacity as part of its 5G readiness and for catering to increased bandwidth demand for broadband.

Sanjay Nayak, Managing Director and CEO of Tejas Networks said his company has a decade-long partnership with Airtel

Tejas’ TJ1600 platform is “pay-as-you-grow” and supports 100Gbps to 600Gbps of connectivity.