Telecom equipment manufacturing company Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) yesterday said it has been awarded a contract by Bharti Airtel to expand its 2G network and deploy and manage 3G services in seven African countries.
NSN, which has been one of the preferred supplier for Bharti Airtel, will manage end-to-end network operations, including planning, designing and implementing the 2G and 3G networks for Airtel in seven African countries including Madagascar, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Congo Brazzaville.
Espoo, Finland-based NSN will also provide its energy-efficient Flexi Multiradio Base Stations to expand network coverage to under-served areas, including smaller towns and villages in the seven countries.
NSN said that it will use its FlexiHybrid microwave radio to address growing data traffic and provide the platform for a cost-effective transition to 3G, and potentially 4G networks in the future. The company will also provide its NetAct network management system for effective network monitoring and management.
Bharti has expanding and upgrading its network in Africa after last year acquiring the African operations of global telecoms major Zain for around $9 billion. (See: Bharti acquires Zain, becomes world's fifth largest mobile operator)
Manoj Kohli, CEO, (International) and joint managing director, Bharti Airtel, said, ''This agreement manifests our commitment to provide world-class, innovative and affordable mobile services to customers in Africa. We believe Nokia Siemens Networks' global expertise in managed services and compact energy-efficient network equipment are a perfect fit to our long-term goal to be the leading telecommunications provider in the African continent.''
Rajeev Suri, chief executive officer of Nokia Siemens Networks, said: ''Subscribers everywhere are increasingly demanding better network quality and superior services. We look forward to working closely with Airtel to expand its network rapidly, and deliver the right innovative products and services to help meet these demands.''
NSN has been the preferred supplier of telecom equipment for Bharti Airtel since 2007, when the Delhi-based company in July 2007 awarded it a $900 million expansion contract across its mobile, fixed and intelligent network platforms and followed it up in 2010 by awarding a $700 million network contract for expansion and upgradation of the Indian telco's GSM network in eight regions in India.