Nokia and Bharti Airtel on Tuesday announced a multi-year agreement to deploy Nokia’s SRAN solution across nine circles in India, helping Airtel to enhance the capacity of its networks in particular 4G and improve customer experience.

The rollout, which will also lay the foundation for providing 5G connectivity in the future, will see about three lakh radio units deployed across several spectrum bands including 900 Mhz, 1800 Mhz, 2100 Mhz and 2300 Mhz.
The rollout is expected to be completed by 2022. Reports pegged the deal at close to one billion dollars (about Rs 7,637 crore).

These Nokia supplied networks will give Airtel the best possible platform for when 5G networks launch across the country with their low latency and faster speeds, the company said in a statement.

Independent network performance testing company RootMetrics3 recognised Nokia as market leader in LTE in terms of performance including network speed, network reliability and data performance.

India is the second largest telecoms market in the world and is expected to reach 920 million mobile customers by 2025, which will also include 88 million 5G connections, according to the GSMA2.

The country is experiencing a massive increase in demand for data services with traffic increasing by 47 per cent in 2019 alone, according to Nokia’s MBiT Index 2020.

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.

“We are committed to continuously invest in emerging network technologies to provide a best-in-class experience to our customers,” said Gopal Vittal, Managing Director and CEO for India and South Asia at Bharti Airtel.

“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.”

Rajeev Suri, President and Chief Executive Officer at Nokia, said 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.

“The project will enhance their current networks and deliver best-in-class connectivity to Airtel customers but also lay the foundations for 5G services in the future.” (ANI)

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