Airtel signs $1 billion infrastructure deal with Nokia

India’s leading telecom provider, Bharti Airtel has announced a multi-year agreement with Nokia to deploy it’s SRAN solution across nine circles in India. The deal, which according to an industry source is pegged at close $1 billion, will help Airtel to enhance the network capacity of its networks, in particular 4G, and improve customer experience.

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

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% 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.

As per joint statement both companies, “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.”

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