Bharti Airtel floats 3G tender to upgrade network

Telecom service provider Bharti Airtel has floated a 3G tender looking for mobile equipments that can operate in both 2100 MHz band and 900 MHz band.

The request for buying telecom equipment for upgrading its third generation mobile network will be good news for telecom equipment vendors such as Ericsson, NSN and Huawei.

The tender does not mention about the size of the 3G project. Airtel wants to buy gear that can operate in both 2100 MHz band and 900 MHz band.

Airtel’s Capex in the recent quarters decreased. ( Bharti Airtel reports lowest Capex in Q2 in last 5 quarters )


Hindu Business Line reported that the new RFP indicates that Airtel is gearing up to retain the 900 MHz spectrum band and use it for 3G services. At present, this frequency band is being used by operators to offer 2G voice service. For 3G services, telecom companies are using only the 2100 MHz band.

But telecom operators, including Bharti Airtel, which currently owns spectrum in 900 MHz band, have to surrender it back to the Government under a new policy. This will be re-auctioned to ensure that all operators will have an equal chance of buying it.

Bharti Airtel currently has 3G spectrum in the 2100 MHz band in 13 circles but it could buy more spectrum in the other areas in the next round of auction.