Bharti Airtel, India’s leading telecom services provider, has further strengthened its partnership with Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) by signing a four-year agreement to expand 3G WCDMA network across eight telecom circles in India. The new agreement includes rollout of 3G services in both UMTS 2100 MHZ and UMTS 900MHz band (in three circles). As part of the contract, Ericsson will supply, install and perform managed services for WCDMA Radio Access Networks (RAN).
Ericsson will provide its multi-standard radio equipment from the Ericsson RBS 6000 base station family for macro and small cells. This will enable energy-efficient and cost-effective operations while allowing the operator to meet growing demands of better and faster mobile internet connectivity for the end-users.
Abhay Savargaonkar, CTO, Bharti Airtel, says: “With the growing number of smartphones, our customers are increasingly demanding ubiquitous network performance and superior user experience. This investment in 3G network is in line with Airtel’s constant focus on building a world-class, next-generation smartphone network for its customers. Refarming of 900MHz spectrum in three circles to 3G is aimed at providing additional capacity and better indoor coverage. By partnering with Ericsson, we look forward to leveraging Ericsson’s experience to address the growing demands of our 3G subscribers, providing them with high-quality data experience at all times”.
Paolo Colella, Head of Region India, Ericsson says: “Consumers in India are rapidly embracing smartphones and mobile internet as a source of information and entertainment. By expanding Bharti Airtel’s 3G WCDMA network, we will help them address the growing demand for superior data services in India.”
As per the India appendix of the Ericsson Mobility Report released in June 2015, WCDMA/HSPA subscriptions are expected to increase from over 120 million in 2014 to around 620 million by 2020, as the proportion of WCDMA /HSPA subscriptions in the total subscription base increases from 13 per cent to 45 per cent. The total number of mobile subscriptions in India is expected to increase to approximately 1.4 Billion by 2020, resulting in a population penetration of 100 per cent.
Notes to editors
About Bharti Airtel
Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top 4 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. In India, the company's product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high speed DSL broadband, IPTV, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G wireless services and mobile commerce. Bharti Airtel had over 312 million customers across its operations at the end of December 2014. To know more please visit, www.airtel.com
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