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Airtel, TCS demonstrate 5G based remote robotic operations and artificial intelligence driven quality inspection

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NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel Limited and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) have announced the successful testing of innovative use cases from TCS’ Neural Manufacturing solutions suite on Airtel’s ultra-fast and low latency 5G network.

Airtel has been allocated 5G trial spectrum by the Department of Telecommunications for the purpose of technology validation. Airtel has rolled out #5GforBusiness initiative and is partnering with leading technology companies to demonstrate a wide range of enterprise grade use cases using high speed & low latency networks.

Airtel and TCS joined forces to test 5G based use cases from TCS’s Neural Manufacturing suite of solutions. These solutions help manufacturers build smart, cognitive factories which mimic resilient and adaptive behaviours as well as enable remote robotic operations in potentially hazardous environments like Mining, Chemical plants and Oil & Gas fields to safeguard human capital. They leverage the ultra-reliable low latency communication, enhanced bandwidth, and high device density characteristics of 5G networks and the combinatorial power of emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, computer vision, industrial robotics and Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality to enable autonomous actions.

TCS successfully tested two use cases on Airtel’s 5G testbed – remote robotics operations, and vision-based quality inspection, demonstrating how TCS’ Neural Manufacturing solutions and 5G technology can transform industrial operations, and significantly boost quality, productivity and safety. The demonstration was done at Airtel’s 5G Lab in Manesar (Gurgaon).

Randeep Sekhon, CTO – Bharti Airtel, said “Airtel is spearheading 5G in India. The 5G ecosystem will open limitless possibilities for enterprises to enhance productivity and serve their customers even better with digitally enabled applications. We are delighted to work with TCS as our strategic technology partner to start testing real life 5G applications of the future. This also offers tremendous learnings across the value chain and lays a solid foundation for future application roadmap.”

“We believe the future of manufacturing is neural, and have been making sustained investments in research, and innovation, and in building intellectual property. We will continue to build new, differentiated capabilities into TCS’ Neural Manufacturing suite of solutions, harnessing the power of machine vision, machine intelligence and 5G to reimagine and redefine the way smart factories operate. Our partnership with Airtel to deploy and validate these innovative use cases on their 5G network serves as a proof point of the transformative power of these technologies,” said Susheel Vasudevan, Global Head of Manufacturing & Utilities at TCS.

TCS’ Neural Manufacturing suite of solutions help customers across manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, automotive, aerospace, energy, utilities, healthcare, life science and hi-tech domains, achieve an autonomous or lights-out factory vision. These include TCS Autoscape.

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Nokia, Taiwan Mobile strengthen partnership with energy-efficient 5G coverage expansion deal

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NEW DELHI: Nokia has announced that it has been selected by Taiwan Mobile (TWM) in an expansion deal to enhance the operator’s 5G coverage across the country. Under the deal, Nokia will provide its latest energy-efficient AirScale portfolio supporting TWM’s commitments to RE100 and reaching 100 percent renewable energy by 2040.

It will also provide a smooth network evolution path following the completion of the proposed merger with Taiwan Star.

Nokia will provide equipment from its AirScale portfolio, including base stations and massive MIMO antennas to boost network performance and capacity. The deal also covers the introduction of 4G/5G dynamic spectrum sharing to maximize the advantages of TWM’s spectrum assets, which include 700MHz and 2100MHz bands. Nokia will help the operator modernize its LTE infrastructure, as well as consolidate the network management and optimization under a centralized tool for a superior 4G/5G RAN network performance.

Nokia has partnered with TWM for more than 20 years and has previously provided 2G, 3G, and 4G mobile networks covering RAN, packet core, and voice core. In particular, Nokia has made several key contributions to TWM’s 5G development including projects on smart stadiums, smart transportation, and smart logistics. Today, TWM has over one million 5G subscribers.

Nokia will also expand its existing 5G Standalone Core at Taiwan Mobile to enable the operator to provide advanced 5G applications, such as network slicing for enterprises and businesses and Edge Cloud deployments for low-latency services. The deployment will include Nokia AirFrame server hardware with Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) capabilities, IMS Voice Core capacity expansion, and Voice over New Radio (VoNR).

Jamie Lin, President at Taiwan Mobile, said: “Nokia has been our go-to partner for more than two decades and their performance during the 5G era so far has been nothing but brilliant. By doubling down on their cutting-edge technologies with this newly awarded order, we aim to upgrade and expand our 5G network to deliver resilient connectivity and expanded coverage to our subscribers and enterprises alike while at the same time accelerate our sustainability agenda and contribute to a greener earth. By working hand in hand with Nokia, I have full confidence we can get the best of both worlds.”

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, said: “This new extended coverage deal is a testament to the great progress we’ve made in the deployment of 5G services in Taiwan with our long-term partner, Taiwan Mobile as its sole supplier. I am also encouraged to see how our AirScale portfolio is helping to reduce energy consumption and pave the way for a sustainable future.”

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Narendra Modi inaugurates India’s first 5G testbed; says aims to roll out 6G end of decade

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NEW DELHI: India is targeting the rollout of 6G telecom network, which will provide ultra high speed internet connectivity, by the end of the decade, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday.

India currently has 3G and 4G telecom networks and companies are gearing up to launch 5G over the next few months.

Speaking at the silver jubilee event of telecom sector regulator TRAI here, he said it is estimated that the 5G network rollout will add USD 450 billion to the Indian economy.

“This is not just increasing internet speed but also the pace of development and creating jobs,” he said, adding the 5G technology will bring positive change in governance of the country, ease of living and ease of doing business.

It will boost growth in agriculture, health, education, infrastructure and logistics, he said.

Connectivity, Modi said, will decide the progress of the country in the 21st century and so modern day infrastructure needs to be rolled out.

According to the prime minister, a task force has started work on rolling out 6G network by the end of the decade.

Taking potshots at the previous Congress-led UPA government, Modi said the 2G era was symbolic of policy paralysis and corruption.

The country, under his government, has moved transparently to 4G and is now going to 5G.

Teledensity and internet users are fast expanding, he said, adding that mobile manufacturing units in India have expanded from 2 to over 200 and the country is now the world’s biggest mobile manufacturing hub.

The prime minister also said that his government has encouraged healthy competition that has led to India having one of the cheapest telecom data charges in the world.

Indigenous 5G test bed in telecom sector is an important step in India’s self-reliance, he added.

PM Modi virtually inaugurates India’s first 5G testbed costing Rs 220 crore

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated the country’s first 5G testbed to enable startups and industry players to test and validate their products locally and reduce dependence on foreign facilities.

The testbed has been set up at a cost of around Rs 220 crore. Speaking at the silver jubilee celebrations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), the Prime Minister said the 5G testbed is an important step for self-reliance in the direction of critical and modern technologies.

“I invite youth friends, researchers and companies to utilise the testing facility for making 5G technology,” Modi said.

The 5G testbed has been developed as a multi-institute collaborative project by eight institutes led by IIT Madras.

In the absence of a 5G testbed, startups and other industry players were required to go abroad to test and validate their products for installation in a 5G network.

The other institutes that participated in the project are IIT Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Bombay, IIT Kanpur, IISc Bangalore, Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering & Research (SAMEER) and Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology (CEWiT).

The testbed facility will be available at 5 different locations.

Source: Press Trust of India

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5G now in 1947 cities across 72 countries

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NEW DELHI: Viavi Solutions said that it has released new industry data revealing that the number of cities with 5G networks now stands at 1,947 globally. Despite the pandemic, 5G cities came online at a rate of nearly two per day, with the addition of 635 new 5G cities in 2021, according to the new VIAVI report “The State of 5G,” now in its sixth year.

By the end of January 2022, 72 countries had 5G networks in place, with the newest crop of 5G countries comprising Argentina, Bhutan, Kenya, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Malta and Mauritius, which all came online in the second half of 2021. Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) has overtaken Asia Pacific including Greater China (APAC) to become the region with the most 5G cities at 839. APAC has 689 5G cities and the Americas has 419.

Not surprisingly, the world’s two largest economies, the United States and China are the countries with the most 5G cities. China now has 356 5G cities and the United States has 296. The Philippines remained in the third spot globally with a total of 98 5G cities.

Currently, most 5G networks deployed are Non-Standalone (NSA) networks, meaning that 5G equipment is added to existing 4G network infrastructure. There are currently 24 Standalone (SA) 5G networks globally, meaning that they have been built using a new 5G core network. It is widely considered that many of the next-generation use cases and monetization models associated with 5G, beyond enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) will only be possible when Standalone 5G networks built on new 5G core networks are in place.

The State of 5G also highlights the growing Open RAN ecosystem, combining mobile operators as well as software and infrastructure vendors, seeking to develop an open, virtualized Radio Access Network (RAN) with embedded Artificial Intelligence (AI) control. As of March 2022, 64 operators have publicly announced their participation in the development of Open RAN networks. This breaks down to 23 live deployments of Open RAN networks, 34 in the trial phase with a further seven operators that have publicly announced they are in the pre-trial phase.

“5G continued to expand, despite the headwinds of a global pandemic,” said Sameh Yamany, CTO, VIAVI Solutions. “What comes next in 5G is the reinforcement of networks. This will take a couple of forms. Firstly, we expect to see more Standalone 5G networks, which will deliver on much of the promise of 5G, both for the operator and for the wider ecosystem of users. And secondly, we expect to see Open RAN continue its rapid development and start to become a de facto standard. VIAVI will continue to play a central role in testing those new networks as they are built and expanded.”

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