Airtel Selects Nokia For Major RAN Buildout


India operator Bharti Airtel awarded a multi-year RAN contract to Nokia, which will see the vendor deploy some 300,000 radio access units across four spectrum bands in nine of the country’s 22 regions.

In a statement, Nokia said the rollout on the 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2300MHz bands will lay the foundation for 5G, and is expected to be completed by 2022.

The vendor said its Single RAN system enables operators to manage 2G, 3G and 4G networks from one platform, reducing network complexity and increasing cost efficiencies. It added its global services unit will be involved in the installation, planning and deployment, which will be executed via the cloud-based Nokia delivery platform.

“We have been working with Nokia for more than a decade now and are delighted to use Nokia’s Single RAN products in further improving the capacity and coverage of our network as we prepare for the 5G era,” said MD and CEO for India and South Asia at Bharti Airtel, Gopal Vittal.

The value of the deal was not announced. The announcement is a big boost for Nokia after being omitted from two massive 5G contracts recently announced by China’s mobile operators.

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