Nokia Networks in 3G deal with Airtel for Mumbai, West Bengal and Bihar

Telecom network vendor Nokia Networks has signed its 3G deal with Bharti Airtel to enhance its 3G networks in the Mumbai, West Bengal and Bihar telecom circles.

The 3G deal includes a dual carrier 3G network implementation, refarming 900 MHz to complement Mumbai’s existing 3G network on 2100 MHz. This will enable higher throughput and thus improved 3G services for Bharti Airtel’s customers.

Nokia Networks did not share financial details.

Abhay Savargaonkar, director Network Services Group, Bharti Airtel, said the company continues to offer data services like One Touch Internet and Re 1 entertainment store to empower millions to leverage the power of mobile internet on network.

Nokia Networks Flexi Metro RRH

Under the 3G contract, Nokia Networks will supply its Single RAN Advanced platform, based on its Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station. This multi-standard radio platform will also support Bharti Airtel in its TD-LTE rollout and pave the way to FDD-LTE in the near future. Airtel has already launched 4G services on TD-LTE in select cities and towns.

3G quality concerns

Poor quality of 3G services is a big concern for telecom subscribers. According to a recent TRAI report, among 3G service providers, 4 percent of operators did not meet benchmarks as compared to 1 percent in March. Of the 94 3G operators, two telecom operators could not set up even basic calls, TRAI said.

Recently, Vodafone India CEO Marten Pieters said the telecom operator requires more spectrum to improve network quality.

Nokia Networks will deploy its Flexi Lite Base Station, a small all-in-one base station optimized for indoor and outdoor micro-cell deployments to provide the best coverage in densely crowded areas.

“While Nokia’s Single RAN Advanced platform will ensure a reliable 3G mobile broadband connectivity, our comprehensive services will ensure smooth deployment,” said Sandeep Girotra, vice president and head of India region, Nokia Networks.


Operators thrive on 3G

Vodafone India has 14 million 3G subscribers in H1 fiscal 2015 against 4 million in H1 fiscal 2014, registering a growth of 204 percent. Its 3G subscriber base is contributing nearly 50 percent to data revenue and volume. For Vodafone, 3G data usage per subscriber is 614 MB per month per subscriber.

“With Indian subscribers increasingly looking for high-speed mobile broadband services, 3G is a very important technology option that operators in India need to embrace to fulfill the demands of their subscribers,” said Rohan Dhamija, partner and head of India and South Asia, Analysys Mason.

Baburajan K