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Airtel and IBM to provide secured Edge Cloud Services to Indian enterprises

With 5G expected to be rolled out in India later this year, Indian enterprises are already looking at how they can make the most out of the network for their business. With data growing exponentially in the subcontinent, some Indian enterprises are hoping to make the most of edge computing services when 5G is available, especially in innovating with greater speed and security.

In fact, 5G in India has the potential to create a cumulative economic impact of $1 trillion by 2035. And Indian enterprises can use it to get value from data at the edge promises endless possibilities for them.

As such, IBM and Bharti Airtel are working together to deploy Airtel’s edge computing platform in India, which will include 120 network data centers across 20 cities. The communications solutions provider’s platform is designed to enable large enterprises across multiple industries including manufacturing and automotive to accelerate innovative solutions that deliver new value to their clients and operations securely at the edge.

With more than 358 million subscribers, Airtel’s edge computing platform, deployed as a hybrid environment based on IBM Cloud Satellite and Red Hat OpenShift, extends secured and open cloud services wherever data resides. This can help improve business performance and customer experience by reducing latency while addressing data security and sovereignty requirements – which is critical as workloads increasingly shift to the edge.

“As India gears up to experience 5G, we see a massive opportunity to help businesses across industries transform how they deliver goods and services. 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, making it significantly easier for companies to process workloads where their data resides,” commented Ganesh Lakshminarayanan, CEO – Enterprise, Airtel Business.

One Indian enterprise that hopes to make the most of this is Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, India’s largest passenger car maker. Maruti Suzuki intends to use the edge platform to increase accuracy and efficiency for quality inspections on the factory floor. By deploying this platform, the carmaker expects to boost quality control and ensure their data remains protected at the edge.

For Rajesh Uppal, Senior Executive Director, HR and IT, Maruti Suzuki, working with Airtel Business and IBM will set an even higher benchmark and explore the vast possibilities of deploying AI and analytics at the edge to augment the expertise of their workforce.

Airtel’s solution leverages IBM Maximo Visual Inspection for AI-enabled quality inspection. IBM Consulting is to lead the systems integration for the IBM platform. Through this hybrid cloud platform and IBM Consulting’s industry expertise and access to best-in-class technology and partners, IBM and Airtel Digital engineering teams will build use cases that leverage Airtel’s 5G connectivity and IBM’s hybrid cloud capabilities to address the pressing business issues faced by enterprise clients.

Harnessing Airtel’s 5G connectivity and highly secured edge computing capabilities from IBM can enable enterprises to deploy and manage workloads in near-real time. Industries including telecommunications, financial services, healthcare, and government can benefit from reduced latency, high availability, and increased connectivity speeds.

“As businesses – particularly those in regulated industries – work to modernize their infrastructures, they need to be able to do so in a way that enables them to stay compliant, without becoming overburdened by their compliance obligations — regardless of where their data resides,” said Howard Boville, Head of IBM Cloud Platform.

Boville added that by teaming with Airtel, IBM can bring its hybrid cloud offerings to their Indian multi-access edge compute customers so that they can embrace the opportunities presented by 5G and edge.