Ericsson has signed a USD 250 million managed capacity expansion contract with Indian operator Bharti to provide managed services and expand its GSM/GPRS network into rural India.

Ericsson's technology and managed services solutions will enable Bharti to expand into around 3000 towns and villages in 15 regions. The rollout of the first phase of this ongoing coverage expansion into rural India will start in July 2005. 

Ericsson delivers and manages network capacity when and where Bharti needs it. As a result, Bharti is free to focus on customers and business development, growing its business and efficiently evolving its networks. Fast deployment will allow Bharti to offer services with minimized payback time in rural areas with low average revenue per user.

Ericsson also provides its Expander solution for rural coverage to optimize both capital and operational expenditures and ensure minimal total cost of ownership for Bharti's network.

Manoj Kohli, Bharti's President, Mobility, says: "Ericsson's advanced solutions and services enable us to make this strategic move towards rural areas in India."

Jan Campbell, Managing Director, Ericsson India, says the agreement reinforces Ericsson's position as Bharti's long-term partner. "The expansion will allow Bharti to offer new and enhanced services to its customers, as well as cover new and untapped rural areas," he says.

Ericsson is a long-term Bharti partner, operating its GSM/GPRS network in 15 out of 23 regions under a managed capacity agreement, and is the sole supplier of Bharti's mobility Intelligent Network, WAP, MMS, Video Streaming and Automatic Device Configuration. Ericsson also provides fixed broadband solutions and fixed-line switching equipment for Bharti's Infotel branch.

Ericsson is shaping the future of Mobile and Broadband Internet communications through its continuous technology leadership. Providing innovative solutions in more than 140 countries, Ericsson is helping to create the most powerful communication companies in the world.

Read more at http://www.ericsson.com

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT

Ericsson Media Relations
Phone: +46 8 719 6992
E-mail: press.relations@ericsson.com


About Bharti
Bharti Tele-Ventures is one of India's leading private sector providers of telecommunication services with a total of 11.06 million customers at the end of January 2005, including about 10.24 million mobile customers. The company today offers mobile services in 21 out of 23 circles in India. The company also provides fixed-line services and internet access over DSL in six circles. The company complements its mobile and fixed-line services with national and international long-distance services. The company also has a submarine cable landing station at Chennai, which connects the submarine cable connecting Chennai and Singapore. The company provides reliable end-to-end data and enterprise services to corporate customers by leveraging its nationwide fiber-optic backbone, last-mile connectivity in fixed-line and mobile circles, VSATs, ISP and international bandwidth access through the gateways and landing station. Read more at: www.bhartiteleventures.com

About Ericsson's managed services offering
Ericsson has the telecom industry's most comprehensive managed services offerings, ranging from designing, building, operating and managing day-to-day operations of a customer's network, to hosting service applications and enablers, as well as providing network coverage and capacity on demand. As the undisputed leader in managed services, Ericsson has officially announced more than 45 managed services contracts with operators worldwide since 2002. In all its current managed services contracts, excluding hosting, Ericsson is managing networks that together serve more than 38 million subscribers worldwide.