Airtel signs $1 billion deal with Nokia to improve 4G network experience

Topics Bharti Airtel | Airtel | 5G

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
Bharti Airtel has signed a multi-year deal with Nokia to deploy the Finnish company's network solutions across nine circles in India. According to industry analysts, the deal could be worth $1 billion. 

"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," Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO (India and South Asia) at Bharti Airtel, said in a statement.

Nokia's SRAN solution helps operators manage their 2G, 3G and 4G networks from one platform reducing network complexity, increasing cost efficiencies and future-proofing investment. The Finnish company will be the sole provider of SRAN in the nine circles in the country.

The Nokia supplied networks with low latency and faster speeds will provide Airtel the best possible platform for when 5G networks launch across the country.

Nokia said the deal includes Nokia's Single Radio Access Network solution, AirScale Radio Access, Baseband, and related Services.

The rollout, which will also lay the foundation for providing 5G connectivity in the future, will see approximately 300,000 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

"We have worked closely with Bharti Airtel for many years and are delighted to extend this long-standing partnership further. This project will enhance their current networks and deliver best-in-class connectivity to Airtel customers but also lay the foundations for 5G services in the future," explained Rajeev Suri, President and Chief Executive Officer at Nokia.

India currently 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.

The country is experiencing a massive increase in demand for data services with traffic increasing by 47 per cent in 2019 alone, according to Nokia's MBiT Index 2020.

Nokia's SRAN solution will help Airtel to address this growing demand by adding network capacity and ensuring a superior quality of experience to its customers.

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.



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