Airtel Current Affairs

Airtel, Huawei successfully conduct India’s first 5G network trial

Telecom Major Bharti Airtel and Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei have successfully conducted India’s first 5G (fifth generation) network trial. It was conducted at Airtel’s network experience centre in Manesar, Gurugram (Haryana) and was able to achieve over 3 gigabit per second (Gbps) data speed.

Key Facts

The setup for this 5G trial involved 5G RAN that operated on 3.5GHz network band, along with 5G Core and 50GE network slicing router. In duration of tests, a user throughput speed of 3Gbps was achieved, claimed to be highest for 3.5GHz band. The tests were conducted within a 100MHz bandwidth and resulted in a 1-millisecond end-to-end network latency.

Significance

The test is small but significant step in its journey towards next generation 5G mobile networks, which could offer data speed up to 100 times faster than current 4G networks. It also demonstrates spectral efficiency and potential for diversified services such as Internet of Things (IoT) and augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR), which can be delivered by 5G technology to serve a digitally connected world.

Background

India is planning to roll out 5G services for consumers by 2020. To achieve this objective, Government in September 2017 had set up high-level forum that will evaluate and approve roadmaps and action plans to bring in the latest technology.

5G

5G is wireless communication technology based on third-generation partnership project (3GPP). It is next generation mobile networks technology after 4G LTE networks. It is expected to offer enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) through R15 repeaters that can cater to coverage requirements.

In December 2017, 3GPP had completed first set of 5G New Radio standards. The 5G technology will offer far greater upload and download speed available at present.

High data speed offered by 5G network will help cloud systems to stream software updates, music, and navigation data to driverless cars. Moreover, it holds the key to growth of artificial intelligence (AI) systems and enhance IoT. As per the OECD Committee on Digital Economic Policy, 5G technologies rollout will help in increasing GDP, creating employment and digitizing the economy.

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Airtel launches India’s first Payments Bank service in Rajasthan

Airtel Payments Bank Limited or Airtel Bank became the first payments bank in the country to launch live banking services in Rajasthan.

The pilot phase of the Airtel bank launched in Rajasthan aims at testing systems and processes ahead of a full scale pan Indian launch.

Key Facts

  • Airtel Payments Bank is a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel Limited. Mahindra Bank holds 19.9% stake in it.
  • Airtel retail outlets across Rajasthan will act as banking points. They offer a range of basic, convenient banking services as per Payments Bank guidelines issued by RBI.
  • Customers can open bank accounts by using Aadhaar based e-KYC. Airtel subscriber’s mobile number will function as a bank account number.
  • The bank will accept deposits not exceeding Rs 1 lakh. It cannot perform lending activities, except while giving loans to its employees on approval of the board.
  • It intends to give an interest rate of 7.25% per annum on deposits in savings accounts.
  • It will be offering customers the convenience of cashless purchase of goods/services using their bank accounts/wallets, contributing to of financial inclusion and banking for all.
  • Though payment banks are allowed to issue debit card facility, but Airtel Payments Bank will be not offering this facility right now.

Background

In August 2015, RBI had had given in-principle approval to 11 applicants to set up payments bank by February 2017. So far, out of these 11 applicants, Tech Mahindra Ltd, Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Co, and billionaire Dilip Shanghvi have opted out.

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