The platform will target large enterprises across the country, with a specific focus on manufacturing and the automotive industry
Today, Indian operator giant Bharti Airtel has announced that it is working alongside US cloud specialist IBM to deploy an Indian edge computing platform targeting enterprises across the country.
The platform will reportedly Airtel’s 120 data centres across 20 cities in India, aiming to help local businesses maximise the value of Airtel’s upcoming 5G network and edge computing.
“As India gears up to experience 5G, we see a massive opportunity to help businesses across industries transform how they deliver goods and services,” said Ganesh Lakshminarayanan, CEO-Enterprise, Airtel Business. “We have the largest network of edge data centers available in India under the Nxtra brand and we will leverage our work with IBM to help Indian businesses address their critical business needs with greater efficiency.”
The platform is deployed as a hybrid environment based on IBM Cloud Satellite and Red Hat OpenShift®, which will combine to improve business performance and customer experience by reducing latency without compromising data security.
Airtel’s initial targets for this platform are India’s largest enterprises, particularly in the manufacturing and automobile sectors, both of which stand to gain major efficiency benefits from shifting applications to the edge.
One of the company’s initial customers will be Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest domestic car manufacturer, who says it will use the platform to improve quality control and production efficiency.
“At Maruti Suzuki, we continuously strive to meet the highest quality standards by ensuring our processes and quality control are well above industry standards. Technology is a key enabler in this journey, helping boost quality, efficiency and deliver the next-gen user experience. We are excited to work with Airtel Business and IBM to set an even higher benchmark and explore the vast possibilities of deploying AI and analytics at the edge to augment the expertise of our workforce,” said Rajesh Uppal, Senior Executive Director, HR and IT, Maruti Suzuki.
The news comes shortly after the conclusion of India’s long-awaited 5G spectrum auction, with Airtel saying that they will launch 5G services commercially later this month. By December, the company aims to have coverage in key metropolitan areas, extending this coverage to all of ‘urban India’ by the end of 2023, according to CEO, Gopal Vittal.
“After that, we will expand rapidly to cover the entire country. We expect to cover urban India by the end of 2023,” said Vittal last week.
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