Bharti, Nokia ‘connect’ for strong network

The roll-out will see approximately 3 lakh radio units deployed across several spectrum bands. REUTERS

The roll-out will see approximately 3 lakh radio units deployed across several spectrum bands. REUTERS  

$1-bn deal will lay foundation for 5G connectivity in future; to deploy Nokia’s solution across 9 circles

Telecom equipment maker Nokia has secured a nearly $1 billion deal from Bharti Airtel to enhance the capacity of its networks, 4G in particular, for nine circles.

In a statement on Tuesday, Bharti Airtel announced a multi-year agreement to deploy Nokia’s SRAN solution across nine circles in India. While the financial details of the deal were not disclosed, an industry source pegged it at close to $1 billion.

“The roll-out, which will also lay the foundation for providing 5G connectivity in the future, will see approximately 3,00,000 radio units deployed across several spectrum bands, including 900 Mhz, 1800 Mhz, 2100 Mhz and 2300 Mhz, and is expected to be completed by 2022,” the statement added.

These Nokia-supplied networks will give Airtel the best possible platform when 5G networks launch across the country, with their low latency and faster speeds.

Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India and South Asia) at Bharti Airtel, said: “We are committed to continuously investing in emerging network technologies to provide a best-in-class experience to our customers.

This initiative with Nokia is a major step in this direction. We have been working with Nokia for more than a decade now and are delighted to use Nokia’s SRAN products in further improving the capacity and coverage of our network as we prepare for the 5G era.”

Rajeev Suri, president and chief executive officer at Nokia, said, “This is an important agreement for the future of connectivity in one of the world’s largest telecom markets and solidifies our position in India.

This project will enhance their current networks and deliver best-in-class connectivity to Airtel customers but also lay the foundation for 5G services in the future.”

India is the second largest telecom market in the world and is expected to reach 920 million unique mobile customers by 2025, which will also include 88 million 5G connections, according to the GSMA.

SRAN solution

The statement added that Nokia’s SRAN solution helps operators to manage their 2G, 3G and 4G networks from one platform reducing network complexity, increasing cost efficiencies, and future-proofing investment. “The deal will also include Nokia’s RAN equipment, including its AirScale Radio Access, AirScale BaseBand and NetAct OSS solution, which will help Airtel to monitor and manage its network effectively. Nokia Global Services will also play a crucial role in the installation, planning and deployment of the project, which will be executed via the cloud-based Nokia Delivery Platform,” it said.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 9:15:21 AM |

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