Bharti Airtel on Wednesday awarded a $1.3-billion network expansion contract to Ericsson that would help the mobile operator to deliver enhanced voice quality and faster data access to its subscribers. Ericsson will expand and upgrade Airtel's network in 15 of India's 22 telecom circles to put in place a converged network and expanded coverage in rural India.

Benchmark

According to Hans Vestberg, President and CEO of Ericsson, “Airtel is poised to spearhead the next telecom revolution in India and take the 2G experience to greater heights. In this partnership, we will set a new benchmark for the world in terms of network size and quality, types of services and end-user experience.”

As part of this contract, Ericsson will supply its industry-leading portfolio of energy efficient 2G/2.5G radio base stations, circuit and packet core, microwave transmission and Intelligent Network. In addition, Ericsson will ensure that Bharti Airtel's core and transport network is 3G-ready in order to reduce time to market and enable the fast rollout of 3G services at a later date.

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