Airtel and Nokia ink $1bn RAN agreement

Airtel and Nokia ink $1bn RAN agreement

29 April 2020 | Natalie Bannerman

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Nokia and Bharti AirtelĀ have entered into a multi-year agreement for the deployment of 300,000 radio unitsĀ in India by 2022.

According to industry sources the deal is estimated to worth $1 billion and the sites will be deployed across 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2300MHz spectrum bands.

This Nokia-enabled network will lay the foundations for Airtel’s 5G rollout across the country delivering lower latency and faster speeds.

“We are committed to continuously invest in emerging network technologies to provide a best-in-class experience to our customers,” said Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India and South Asia) at Bharti Airtel.

“This initiative with Nokia is a major step in this direction. We have been working with Nokia for more than a decade now and are delighted to use Nokia’s SRAN products in further improving the capacity and coverage of our network as we prepare for the 5G era.” 

Nokia’s SRAN solution helps operators to manage their 2G, 3G and 4G networks from one platform reducing network complexity, increasing cost efficiencies and future-proofing investment. 

Specifically, the SRAN solution will help Airtel to address the growing demand for data services in India by adding network capacity and delivering a high quality of experience to its customers.

“This is an important agreement for the future of connectivity in one of the world’s largest telecoms markets and solidifies our position in India,” said Rajeev Suri (pictured), president and chief executive officer at Nokia.

“We have worked closely with Bharti Airtel for many years and are delighted to extend this long-standing partnership further. This project will enhance their current networks and deliver best-in-class connectivity to Airtel customers but also lay the foundations for 5G services in the future.” 

As the sole provider of SRAN across 9 of Airtel’s service areas, the deal also includes Nokia’s RAN equipment, which features AirScale Radio Access, AirScale BaseBand and NetAct OSS solution.

Nokia Global Services will also participate in the installation, planning and deployment of the project, which will be executed via the cloud-based Nokia Delivery Platform.