In its latest 5G trials, Bharti Airtel invited two popular video games streamers to demonstrate cloud gaming over 5G using their smartphones

In India, 5G is still very much in its infancy, with the operators conducting various tests ahead of the much-delayed spectrum auction set to take place later in the year. 
Now, as part of these tests, Bharti Airtel is demonstrating some of the exciting potential that 5G has to offer, exhibiting cloud gaming on a 5G network for the first time in India.
Cloud gaming, which allows customers to stream high-quality video games directly to their devices, is often cited as one of the major emerging use cases for 5G. Streaming the games directly from the cloud means that users will not need powerful hardware to play the latest video games, but they will need fast and reliable connectivity to ensure a seamless experience.
In its demonstration, Airtel invited two popular video game streamers, Naman ‘Mortal’ Mathur and Salman ‘Mamba’ Ahmad, to demonstrate cloud gaming via the Blacknut gaming platform. The pair played a popular racing game called Asphalt 9 Legends, describing the experience as being akin to “high end PC and console-quality gaming”.
“We were totally blown away,” said the streamers after the test. “This was high end PC and console-quality gaming experience on a smartphone. We can say with confidence that 5G will truly unlock the online gaming scene in India and massify by creating opportunities to build and publish games out of India and bringing a lot of talented gamers from small towns to the mainstream. Thank you Airtel for giving us this wonderful opportunity.” 
In the test, Airtel claims to have reached speeds of over 1Gbps, with latency of around 10ms, using 3.5GHz spectrum. The operator is working with both Nokia and Ericsson for its 5G network.
The opportunity here for operators should not be underestimated. The global cloud gaming market was valued at over $600 million in 2020 by analysis firm Mordor Intelligence and the scale of the industry’s growth will rise quickly to multiple billions in the coming years as 5G becomes more widely available. By 2026, the same firm expects the global industry to reach $5.4 billion.
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