Airtel plots India edge drive following IBM pact

Bharti Airtel revealed plans to work with IBM on a secure edge computing platform designed for use alongside its forthcoming 5G network by large enterprises in India.

In a statement, the pair noted the platform would use 120 data centres spread across 20 cities and would be suitable for potential customers across a range of industries, citing manufacturing and automotive as examples.

Airtel noted it would use IBM’s Cloud Satellite platform and subsidiary Red Hat’s OpenShift.

The operator’s first announced customer for the forthcoming facility is car maker Maruti Suzuki, which intends to use it to aid quality control in its local factories alongside investigating use cases based on AI and analytics.

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Airtel explained benefits of edge for enterprises include reduced latency and enhanced security.

It claimed the business impact was “significantly enhanced” when combined with 5G, which it plans to roll out later this year after securing the required spectrum in a recent auction.

Airtel Business enterprise CEO Ganesh Lakshminarayanan noted the company had a “massive opportunity to help businesses across industries transform how they deliver goods and services” adding the collaboration was designed to “help Indian businesses address their critical business needs with greater efficiency, making it significantly easier for companies to process workloads where their data resides”.