This four-year agreement marks the first LTE-FDD rollout by Ericsson in Delhi.
The deal indicates that Alcatel-Lucent, ZTE, Huawei and Nokia Networks missed the chance to run the 4G LTE network of Airtel in Delhi. Delhi is the most saturated telecom market in India, according to TRAI.
“The Delhi market is currently experiencing a rapid increase in the uptake of data-centric services. We have made investment in high speed 4G network to improve the data experience of the customer,” said Abhay Savargaonkar, CTO of Bharti Airtel.
According to telecom analysis and research firm Strategy Analytics, India will overtake Japan to become the world’s 3rd largest 4G LTE market by 2017.
Ericsson will supply its multi-standard radio equipment from the Ericsson RBS 6000 base station for macro and small cell networks and LTE RAN software that works seamlessly with the existing 2G and 3G networks deployed by Ericsson.
In addition to Delhi, Ericsson has also partnered Bharti Airtel to deploy LTE networks in 4 other circles.
Earlier, KPMG predicted that India will have 236 million mobile internet users in 2016 and 314 million by 2017. According to the report prepared for IAMAI, India will have more than 500 million internet users in 2017 from 350 million as of June 2015. The number of 3G subscribers is expected to reach 284 million in 2017 from 82 million in 2014.
“LTE will be a key enabler in realizing Ericsson’s vision of the Networked Society and our LTE network infrastructure will enable Airtel subscribers to enjoy a seamless, high-speed mobile broadband experience,” said Paolo Colella, head of Region India, Ericsson.
According to the India appendix of Ericsson Mobility Report, LTE subscriptions in India are expected to reach more than 230 million by 2020, forming around 17 percent of the total subscription base.