India’s first Neutral Shared RAN solution makes its successful debut

railways
•RailTel and CloudExtel offer shared RAN solutions for seamless connectivity in stressed locations
•  Avg. user speed experience increased 5X to 15 Mbps for both Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea
•  Pilot project launched at Mumbai Central railway station demonstrated a 20% increase in data consumption
 

MUMBAI, India, Aug. 26, 2022– RailTel and CloudExtel have partnered to launch India’s first Shared RAN solution for congested locations with the objective to enhance the telecom user experience.

RailTel and CloudExtel carried out the successful pilot of this project in partnership with Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, Nokia, and the Telecom Infra Project’s NaaS Solutions Group, with vital support from the Railways, in one of the most network stressed locations, Mumbai Central railway station. The outcomes have been impressive with 5 times increase in average user speed (from 3Mbps to 15Mbps) for both Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, while the data consumption jumped up by 20%.

“Facilitating seamless connectivity and an enhanced commute experience to passengers at railway stations has been our commitment. The impressive speed and data consumption enabled by Shared RAN has validated our belief in this technology, and we look forward to scaling this in all congested areas serving passengers and telecom operators while reducing the clutter of infrastructure and energy consumption in railway stations,” said Mrs. Aruna Singh, Chairman & Managing Director, RailTel Corporation.

Locations specifically like traffic junctions, airports, and railway stations are high-density areas for network congestion. Challenges multiply especially in Mumbai as it is one of the most densely populated cities in the world.

 “The extensive consumption of multimedia-rich content and cloud applications are the new normal and will multiply with 5G offerings. In absence of shared RAN solutions, even 5G performance will get hampered in such congested locations, thus substantially compromising the user experience. Shared RAN solutions will become an architectural foundation for upcoming 5G deployments in the country”, said Mr. Kunal Bajaj, Founder, and CEO, CloudExtel.

TIP enables Neutral Host NaaS business model deployments by promoting best practices and supporting market trials to achieve scale. Acknowledging the success of the pilot carried out at Mumbai Central railway station, Mr. David Nowicki, TIP NaaS Solution Group Co-Chair said,”TIP applauds CloudExtel’s remarkable achievement of unlocking transformative capacity in one of the world’s most challenging urban environments utilizing a neutral-host NaaS business model. The 5x Quality of Experience improvement demonstrates why this emerging business model should become the standard at urban train stations and similar venues across the globe.”

The entire telecom landscape of India has undergone a transformation largely due to cheaper data connectivity and penetration; operators are now seeking shared solutions to bring in cost efficiency without compromising on deliverables to end consumers. Expressing his enthusiasm to see the development in this direction, Mr. Vinish Bawa, Head of Emerging Business and Enterprise India at Nokia said, “We are delighted to partner with RailTel and CloudExtel in delivering higher data speeds and a better customer experience to commuters on Mumbai Central railways with our Multi-Operator RAN solution. Nokia also has a long heritage of working closely with major railway operators to bring the benefits of private LTE connectivity and pave the way for the adoption and deployment of Future Railway Mobile Communication Systems (FRMCS). For operators, these solutions bring cost savings and increased flexibility in their infrastructure deployments.”

About CloudExtel:

CloudExtel is India’s first full-stack Network as a Service (NaaS) provider, reinventing digital infrastructure connectivity with enhanced coverage, capacity & speed. It caters to telecom operators, internet service providers, data centers, enterprises, and large content providers to address the challenges emerging from the hypergrowth of data consumption in India.

CloudExtel is rapidly building scale to enable the densification of 4G networks and to facilitate the transition to 5G, while driving emerging telecom architecture through ‘cloudification’ of networks.

Through its advanced network solutions, the company has enhanced connectivity in network-stressed, high-footfall iconic locations such as the Golden Temple, Varanasi Ghats, Gateway of India, Jalianwala Bagh, National Stock Exchange, Mantralaya Mumbai. CloudExtel caters to 20% of partner-deployed small cell requirements of large Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) through 4000 sites across 300+ towns and districts.

The imminent global shift to Open RAN (O-RAN) and Network Virtualization is expected to redefine the telecom and internet space. CloudExtel is set to leverage this transition. It is the first neutral host to deploy shared RAN in India, one of less than 10 players globally.

About RailTel:

RailTel, a ‘Mini Ratna (Category-I)’ Central Public Sector Enterprise under Ministry of Railways, is one of the largest neutral telecom infrastructure & ICT Solutions & Services providers in the country, owning a Pan-India optic fiber network covering several towns and cities and rural areas of the country.

Along with a strong a reliable network of 61000+ RKM of Optic fibre, RailTel has two MeitY empanelled tier III data centers as well. With its Pan-India high-capacity network, RailTel is working towards creating a knowledge society at various fronts and has been selected for implementation of various mission-mode projects for the Government of India in the telecom field. RailTel offers a bundle of services like, MPLS VPN, Telepresence, leased line, Tower Co-location, Data center services, etc.

RailTel is also working with the Indian Railways to transform railway stations into digital hubs by providing public Wi-Fi at railway stations across the country and 6100+ stations are live with RailTel’s RailWire Wi-Fi.

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