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Ericsson, NSN, Huawei Win Bharti 3G Deal

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 8:19am
Maisie Ramsay

Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks and Huawei have landed contracts with Indian operator Bharti Airtel to build out its 3G HSPA+ network.

The deal will help the infrastructure vendors gain market share in the world's fastest-growing wireless market as the country's operators move to deploy 3G and 4G networks with newly auctioned spectrum.

Ericsson landed a majority of the licenses, though Bharti did not provide additional details about which markets Ericsson would build out. The deal makes Ericsson the operator's largest vendor for its 2G and 3G networks.

Nokia Siemens will manage Bharti's 3G network in three of the operator's markets and Huawei will provide 3G services "in a few circles," Bharti Airtel said.

Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar and Reliance Communications won key licenses when India concluded its 3G spectrum auction in May, though no single operator has spectrum covering the entire country. Bharti agreed to pay 123 billion rupees, or $2.65 billion, for its 3G spectrum.

Bharti Airtel also won licenses in India's 4G spectrum auction in June, with Qualcomm and Reliance Industries emerging as the big winners of BWA licenses.

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