Nokia bags $230 million 4G network deal from Airtel to expand coverage across nine circles

Finnish telecom and network equipment manufacturer Nokia and Bharti Airtel have joined hands to expand 4G LTE network across nine telecom circles in India. The duo has reached an agreement to expand 4G network coverage and access in urban, suburban and rural areas in the country.

Nokia has reportedly bagged a USD 230 million 4G network deal from Bharti Airtel and will deploy its 4G FDD-LTE and TD-LTE technology across nine of Bharti Airtel’s circles across the country which include Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Rest of Bengal, Odisha, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Kerala and UP East.

“We have a long history of working with Bharti Airtel and with this latest agreement we have become the largest supplier of 4G for the company. This network expansion will provide the capacity, coverage and speeds the company needs to meet the next wave of data demand in India,” said Sanjay Malik, head of India Market at Nokia.

The agreement comes at the time as the Indian telecom industry prepares itself for the ever-increasing demand for mobile data. Nokia reported an eightfold increase in 4G LTE devices in India last year in the 2016 MBiT index. Besides, other statistics reveal that access to news, video content, gaming, and social media makes for 60 percent of India’s total mobile data traffic — which is continuously rising.

Hence, Bharti Airtel has bought more mobile broadband spectrum to address this growth as India prepares itself for the next boom in demand for mobile data. And by joining hands with Nokia, it’ll expand 4G network coverage in three new circles apart from the six circles it already serves.

“We are pleased to continue to leverage Nokia’s leading radio access technology and services expertise to expand 4G capacity and coverage and further increase the quality of service for subscribers,” said Bharti Airtel in a statement.

Moreover, Nokia will also expand Bharti Airtel’s 3G network in India as a part of the deal in eight territories. The expansion will use Nokia’s radio access with Single RAN technology. Besides, Nokia will also offer professional services such as network planning, integration and optimisation.