Bharti Airtel requests 3G upgrade proposals

Indian operator Bharti Airtel has floated a request for proposal (RFP) to upgrade its 3G network in the country.

A document from Airtel to India’s telecoms regulator, Trai, read: “This RFP is to facilitate the selection of the supplier for the supply of best-in-class 3G network solutions and related services.”

Airtel also stated that the network should be compliant in both the 1800MHz and 900MHz bands.

Sources told a local newspaper that this compliance is a result of uncertainty on the refarming policy of its existing licences in these bands, and Airtel wants to keep its options open.

“After the spectrum issue is clear they may ask for a final bid on either 900MHz or 1800MHz,” the source said.

Trai has reportedly recommended refarming, whereby a company’s service operations are moved from one frequency band to another, but a final decision is yet to be made.

A spectrum auction for both the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands looks set to be held in early 2014.

Earlier this year, Bharti Airtel announced an expansion of its 4G network in India’s Punjab region.

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