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Airtel forges partnership with Korean mobile broadband co SK Telecom

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MUMBAI: India's largest telecommunications services provider Airtel will partner Korea's SK Telecom to potentially create the country's finest telecom network and leapfrog into being a next-gen future-ready telco.

The partnership will work across several areas including developing bespoke software to dramatically improve network experience, leveraging advanced digital tools including machine learning, big data and building customised tools to improve network planning based on every customer's device experience. 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.

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 (loT), and jointly work towards building an enabling ecosystem for the introduction of these technologies in the Indian context.

Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said, "This partnership will bring an 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."

"We will work closely with Bharti to achieve new network innovations so as to deliver a greater value to Bharti's customers," SK Telecom president and CEO Park Jung-ho.

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