Nokia on Tuesday secured a multi-year contract to strengthen the 4G network and enhance 5G capabilities of one of India’s largest mobile operators, Bharti Airtel. As per the reports, the deal is valued at almost $1 billion (nearly Rs 7,636 crore) and will see Nokia deploying 3,00,000 radio units across several spectrum bands in those circles that are expected to be completed by 2022, laying the foundation for providing 5G connectivity in the future.
“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,” outgoing Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri said.
India, with a population of 130 crores, is the second-largest telecom market in the world and is expected to reach 92 crores unique mobile customers by within five years i.e. 2025 as the online demand continues to rise.
The deal comes six months after the Finnish network downgraded its 2020 earnings forecast in October 2019 as it failed to compete with the fierce competition from Huawei and Ericsson.
“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,” Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO (India and South Asia) at Bharti Airtel, said in a statement.
Nokia’s SRAN solution will help Airtel to address this growing demand by adding network capacity and ensuring a superior quality of experience to its customers.
The deal will also include Nokia’s RAN equipment, including its AirScale Radio Access, AirScale BaseBand and NetAct OSS solution, which will help Airtel to monitor and manage its network effectively.