Swedish telecom vendor Ericsson has inked a three-year contract with India’s telecom service provider Bharti Airtel, reports Economic Times.
The contract valued at $500 million (Rs. 3350 crores) is a managed service contract, where Ericsson will undertake the responsibility for maintenance, network operations, and network optimization of Airtel-owned sites in the country. Bharti Airtel owns 2G, 3G, 4G LTE networks across 22 circles in the country and has a subscriber base of 259.9 million.
This is not the first agreement of Airtel with Ericsson. Ericsson has deployed 4G networks for Airtel in a few circles, including some major sites in Delhi. Besides the present agreement, Airtel had awarded a 4G network deployment deal to Nokia in three new circles. Nokia was earlier serving Airtel’s six circles in India. Through the new deal, Ericsson will manage the services in 15 circles, swapping out Finnish gear maker Nokia as the pan-India vendor for managed services.
An unnamed industry person has conveyed to Economic Times that there are chances for Ericsson to take over the complete deal from Nokia by December-January period.
In addition to the contract with Airtel, Ericsson also has a contract with Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications’ (RCOM). This pan-India network contract valued at $1 billion is valid for seven years. Besides, it provides managed service to India’s Idea Cellular in five circles and to Aircel in six circles.
Airtel, Ericsson, and Nokia declined to comment on the new development.