Bharti Airtel inks 4G deal with Ericsson
India’s Bharti Airtel has partnered with Swedish vendor Ericsson for the supply of equipment for its 4G network, according to local reports.
The deal is thought to be the first in the country to use FDD-LTE technology for rolling out services and Ericsson is rumoured to have signed a similar deal with Idea Cellular.
Chris Houghton, head of region India at Ericsson, told the Economic Times: “We have got a network infrastructure deal from [Bharti Airtel], which includes base stations and other equipment. Though, I can’t comment on specifics of the deal.”
Bharti Airtel and Aircel – the only existing operators offering 4G in India– use TDD-LTE technology for their networks, which has a number of technical limitations and has resulted in the roll out of 4G to only a few cities in India.
FDD-LTE technology is more widely accepted across the globe and the agreement for the technology with Ericsson looks to be a milestone for the Indian marketplace.
India is likely to remain a hive of activity in the 4G space over the next few years, with rival Indian players Reliance Industries and Reliance Group also planning launches of the service.