Bharti Airtel selects Nokia, Ericsson and Samsung as 5G rollout commences
Fresh off of India 5G spectrum auction that was finally completed this week, Bharti Airtel has awarded contracts to Nokia, Ericsson and Samsung for its 5G rollout.
Bharti Airtel won US$5.4 billion worth of spectrum at the auction covering the 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 3300MHz and 26GHz bands.
“Our network agreements are finalised, and Airtel will work with the best technology partners from across the world to deliver the full benefits of 5G connectivity to our consumers,” said Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO at Bharti Airtel.
“India’s transition into a digital economy will be led by telecom, and 5G presents a game-changing opportunity to drive the digital transformation of industries, enterprises and the socio-economic development of India.”
The operator already has a long-standing relationship with both Nokia and Ericsson, but this will be the first time it will work with Samsung.
Samsung built the first 4G LTE network in India in 2016.
The deal includes building 5G radio stations and offering maintenance and other services.
"5G will have a powerful impact on India's consumers and businesses -- taking mobile experiences to a new level, introducing a gamut of enhanced capabilities and expanding what is possible, " Cheun Kyung-whoon, president and head of the networks business at Samsung Electronics, said in a statement.
"As a global leader in 5G, Samsung is excited to embark on this 5G journey with Airtel to deliver innovative solutions that will help advance India's entrepreneurial spirit and open up a new paradigm for the country."
The smartphone vendor announced earlier this year that it would be producing 4G and 5G equipment in India for both Airtel and Reliance Jio.