Bharti in $125 M deal with Nokia

By agencies   |   Wednesday, 24 August 2005, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: Bharti Tele-Ventures has signed a $125 million deal with Finland based Telecom major Nokia to expand and manage its cellular networks in eight circles.

As per the contract, Nokia will provide managed services and expand Bharti’s Airtel networks in the rural areas of Mumbai, Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Orissa over a three-year period.

Nokia has also been mandated to provide managed services and expand Airtel networks in the circles of Kolkota, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh which until recently were being managed German telecom company Siemens.

Bharti's cellular network in 15 other circles has already been outsourced to Swedish major Ericsson. Nokia's managed capacity expansion will help Airtel cover more than 5,000 towns, up from 2,700, across India.

The phased expansion into these towns and villages starts immediately and is likely to be completed by March 2006. "The expansions will double Bharti's network capacity, providing reduced congestion, seamless coverage and enhanced quality, to all Bharti customers.

"As part of the contract, Nokia will continuously deliver radio and core network equipment and services based on Bharti's capacity requirements, delivering a cost-efficient rollout of on-demand capacity," said a press release.

Nokia will also deploy its low cost Connect GSM Solution for expanding network coverage in rural areas in a cost-effective manner.

"This includes solutions for radio access, core network, network management systems and services that will reduce the total cost of ownership for Bharti and allow it to optimally target the low average revenue customer," said a company release.

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