Ericsson has completed the world's largest upgrade of a live mobile network, and done it at a record pace. To improve quality of service for more than 13 million Vodafone Essar subscribers in India's four key zones, including three large metro cities, the company replaced more than 10,500 of the operator's GSM radio sites, reaching a peak rate of one site every minute. Throughout the project the operator maintained uninterrupted network services in the cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, as well as the Punjab region.

The network modernization project began in February 2008 and ended first quarter 2009, two months ahead of schedule. During that time, Ericsson delivered more than 16,000 base station cabinets and more than 250 base station controllers. As part of the agreement, the company also provided an expansion of the layered architecture circuit core including mobile packet back bone and microwave transmission equipment.

Acknowledging the milestone, Naresh Gupta, Technical Director at Vodafone Essar, said, "Swapping a commercially live network with near zero service deterioration is a very demanding task. I am pleased that Ericsson managed to undertake and complete such a challenging project in record time."

Gowton Achaibar, President of Ericsson India and Sri Lanka, added, "This record-breaking network modernization project demonstrates Ericsson's end-to-end capacity and expertise in carrying out large and complex projects. It was made possible by our highly competent and dedicated team."