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Bharti Airtel and Ericsson extend partnership

Zafar Anjum | March 31, 2010
It's a US$1.3 billion network expansion contract

SINGAPORE, 31 MARCH 2010 Indian telco Bharti Airtel and Ericsson, a provider of technology and services to telecom operators, have further strengthened their strategic partnership with a US$1.3 billion network expansion contract on Wednesday (31 March).

Ericsson sources said it will supply its industry-leading portfolio of energy efficient 2G/2.5G radio base stations, circuit and packet core, microwave transmission and Intelligent Network. Also, Ericsson will ensure that Bharti Airtel's core and transport network is 3G-ready in order to reduce time to market and enable the fast rollout of 3G services at a later date.

Airtel users will enjoy an enhanced voice quality and faster data access, said an Ericsson spokesperson. The agreement will enable Airtel to put in place a converged network and expanded coverage in rural India. Ericsson will expand and upgrade Airtel's network in 15 of India's 22 telecom circles.

The extension of our 15 years' association with Ericsson is testimony to the strength of the relationship as well as the success of the model, said Sanjay Kapoor, CEO- India and South Asia, Bharti Airtel. We continue to be delighted with Ericsson's expertise in network expansion and transformation, helping us to reduce operating expenditures and enhance network quality. This way, we can continue to provide a superior customer experience."

Hans Vestberg, president and CEO of Ericsson, said: Airtel is poised to spearhead the next telecom revolution in India and take the 2G experience to greater heights. In this partnership, we will set a new benchmark for the world in terms of network size and quality, types of services and end-user experience.


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