In a deal estimated to be worth an estimated $2 B, Ericsson and Bharti Airtel have signed a state-of-the-art network expansion deal that will help the service provider offer world class and cost-effective products and services to its customers, and help it expand its reach in rural India. In what is Ericsson's largest deal to date, the agreement includes expansion of the GSM/EDGE network and provides capacity management.
Under the two-year supply and services contract, Ericsson will design, plan, deploy, optimize and manage Bharti Airtel's GSM network across 15 circles in India as well as for its pan-India pre-paid platform across 23 circles. In addition, the company will also deliver pan-India integrated device management solutions.
The core network is based on Ericsson's layered architecture that will pave the way to an all-IP environment, and includes a common 2G/3G core based on Mobile Softswitch; a robust Mobile Packet Backbone Network for data services; a pan-India pre-paid platform using intelligent network technology to deliver innovative pre-paid services; and a state-of-the-art location-based services solution that will pave the way for unique location-based services and applications.
On the radio access side, the cornerstones for cost efficient coverage including Ericsson's latest radio access portfolio, with opex-saving solutions such as main remote design, the Flamingo series radio base station and the Expander solution, will be deployed to allow rapid expansion into rural markets.
The core and access solutions will be supported by a robust and scaleable network backbone for all transmission requirements through Ericsson's MINI-LINK transport portfolio.
Mats Granryd, president, Ericsson India, said, "This contract is an important part of realizing Bharti's vision of a converged network and of expanding coverage in rural India to launch innovative voice and data services for the Indian consumer. We are honored that Bharti Airtel has chosen to partner with us in this grand venture that underpins our strategy of providing communications for all through sustainable and innovative solutions."