Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson has bagged a contract worth about US$1 billion over three years from Indian mobile services provider Bharti Airtel.
The contract is for the expansion and upgrade of Bharti Airtel’s mobile network, as well as the provision of managed services.
Bharti Airtel, of Delhi, is one of several mobile service providers in India that is expanding its network to take advantage of growing demand for mobile telephony in the country. The company offers mobile services using the Global System for Mobile Communications and General Packet Radio Service standards.
India added 5.2 million new mobile phone subscribers in July, taking the total to about 111 million, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
Under the three-year agreement, Ericsson will manage the design, development and deployment of Bharti Airtel’s network, including its capacity and coverage, allowing the operator to expand in rural India. Ericsson will also upgrade its existing infrastructure to an IP network.
Ericsson, of Stockholm, already manages more than 70 percent of Bharti Airtel’s network in India.
Bharti Airtel is one of India’s big private-sector telecommunications providers. It had almost 26 million customers at the end of July, the vast majority using wireless services. Bharti Airtel and its competitors plan to expand mobile coverage into rural areas to grow their subscriber base.
-John Ribeiro, IDG News Service (Bangalore Bureau)
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