Airtel, Nokia Siemens in $900 mn deal

Bharti Airtel and Nokia Siemens Networks strengthened their partnership further by signing a Memorandum of Understanding for $900 mn expansion contract across Airtel’s mobile, fixed and Intelligent Network platforms.

Under the multi-platform network contract, Nokia Siemens Networks will expand Airtel’s GSM network in eight existing circles; long distance and international long distance network with 1.8 million Next Generation Network (NGN) ports and its international calling card prepaid service capacity by 4.5 million news users.

The GSM and NGN expansions are planned over two years and the international calling cards expansion over three years. The MoU was signed between Manoj Kohli, President and CEO of Bharti Airtel and Simon Beresford Wylie, CEO of Nokia Siemens Networks.

The two year GSM expansion will cover the eight existing circles of Mumbai, Maharashtra & Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh & Chattisgarh, Bihar & Jharkhand, Orissa, Kolkata and West Bengal where Nokia Siemens Networks already provides equipment and Managed Services.

The expansion will enable Airtel to rapidly expand its geographical footprint in rural India and increase its overall network capacity. The contract includes network planning, implementation and project management, handling of local logistics and materials as well as system integration for the base station sites.