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March 30, 2010

Ericsson bags $1.3bn contract from Bharti Airtel

To expand and upgrade its network in 15 circles

By CBR Staff Writer

Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson has won a $1.3bn contract from India’s largest telecommunications operator Bharti Airtel to expand and upgrade its network in 15 of India’s 22 telecom circles.

The companies said that the network expansion contract will enable Bharti Airtel to put in place a converged network, expand coverage in rural India and provide users with enhanced voice quality and faster data access.

Under the contract, Ericsson will supply its portfolio of energy efficient 2G/2.5G radio base stations, circuit and packet core, microwave transmission and intelligent network. In addition, Ericsson will also ensure that Bharti Airtel’s core and transport network is 3G-ready in order to reduce time to market and enable the rollout of 3G services at a later date.

The expansion covers introduction of some of the new technologies, support more users in using one base station, enhanced data rates using evolved EDGE technology and other new services, the companies said.

Sanjay Kapoor, CEO of India and South Asia for Bharti Airtel, said: The extension of our fifteen years association with Ericsson is testimony to the strength of the relationship as well as the success of the model. We continue to be delighted with Ericsson’s expertise in network expansion and transformation, helping us to reduce operating expenditures and enhance network quality. This way we can continue to provide a superior customer experience.

Last month, Bharti Airtel has awarded a $700m network expansion contract to Nokia Siemens Networks, covering eight existing circles. The contract included network planning, implementation and project management, handling of local logistics and materials, as well as system integration for the base station sites.

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