India: Airtel dials up SK Telcom for newer tech

Bharti Airtel
A girl checks her mobile phone as she walks past the Bharti Airtel office building in Gurugram, previously known as Gurgaon, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India April 21, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/File Photo

India’s largest telecom company Bharti Airtel Ltd on Wednesday said it has formed a strategic partnership with SK Telecom where it will leverage the South Korean firm’s expertise in improving network experience, machine learning, big data and provide better customer experience through customised tools.

The capacity to identify, monitor and deliver improvements to the network experience on an individual device basis will be a first in India, helped by SK Telecom’s global leadership in this area, Airtel said in a statement.

The two companies will also collaborate on an on-going basis to evolve standards for 5G, network functions virtualization (NFV), software-defined networking (SDN) and internet of things (IoT), and jointly work towards building an enabling ecosystem for the introduction of these technologies in the Indian context.

“This partnership will bring a dramatically improved experience to Airtel customers in India by leveraging the expertise of a company that has built one of the best mobile broadband networks in the world,” Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman, Bharti Airtel, said in the statement.

“With SK Telecom’s clear and undisputed leadership in technology, this is one partnership that will decisively change the game in India and put the country at par with the most advanced broadband nations in the world,” Mittal added.

At 9.57am, Bharti Airtel shares were trading 0.65% down at Rs404.25, while BSE Sensex was up 85 points, or 0.27%, at 32,244.

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