Idea Cellular, the third largest mobile services operator in India, has selected Ceragon Networks Ltd. to modernize thousands of wireless backhaul connections around the country to support the data growth visualized from 3G and future technologies. The multimillion dollar orders include Ceragon solutions and services and will enable Idea Cellular to upgrade its TDM network and deliver advanced data-rich services to its over 125 million customers.

According to the Director General of the GSMA, India is the world’s second largest mobile market with approximately 900 million mobile connections. The mobile penetration rate, based on connections, is currently 72% and is forecast to rise to almost 100% by 2017. Mobile broadband adoption in India is set to rocket over the next five years, from about 35 million mobile broadband connections to a potential 400 million mobile broadband connections by the end of 2017, the target date according to India’s National Telecom Policy for high availability broadband throughout the country.

“The mobile market needs in India are constantly changing, with an ever growing need for higher bandwidth connectivity,” said Anil Tandan, Chief Technology Officer of Idea Cellular. “With the explosive growth in data demand over the past few years, it is critical to have partners that understand the unique challenges of our market and offer flexible solutions that can grow over time. We believe that Ceragon is that type of partner and we look forward to working with them to quickly and cost-effectively upgrade our existing microwave transmission network for tomorrow’s needs.”

“India is a huge marketplace for growth in high-capacity mobile infrastructure and companies like Idea Cellular are leading the deployment of next-generation systems throughout the region – both rurally and in urban centers,” said Ira Palti, President and CEO of Ceragon Networks. “Ceragon’s expertise in implementing flexible solutions in an array of different population densities and terrains will be critical in reaching Idea’s large footprint of customers across India. Ceragon is committed to enabling long-term growth for high-capacity connectivity in the region.”