More reports on: Idea Cellular, Vodafone, Telecom, Telenor

Nokia in talks with Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Telewings to roll out 4G services

19 February 2015

Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia Networks is in talks with mobile service providers in India, including Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Telenor's Indian business Telewings, which provides services under the Uninor brand, for possible deals to roll out fourth-generation networks technology.

Nokia, which signed nearly three dozen technology and equipment contracts with Indian carriers in 2014, is looking for another eventful year with the roll-out of 4G technology in the country following the allocation of new radio spectrum to service providers.

The company currently supplies technology and equipment to Uninor for 2G and Vodafone and Idea for 2G and 3G services.

Nokia Networks' MBit Index study, an annual report on mobile broadband performance in India, released on Wednesday, reveals a 74-per cent increase in mobile data traffic generated by both 2G and 3G mobile broadband services in 2014. This was primarily driven by a strong 3G growth with 114 per cent increase, while the 2G data traffic growth was reported to be 41 per cent.

''The 2014 study results clearly show the strong momentum of 3G in India, which has been the primary driver for the data traffic growth. A surge in 3G and 4G compatible smart phone use underlines the greater need for operators to expand the 3G network coverage and selectively rollout 4G services for higher speeds across all the circles while modernising the existing 2G networks,'' said Sandeep Girotra, vice president and head of India Region, Nokia Networks.

Nokia said it can offer mobile service providers the Single-RAN technology, which will help them transition from one technology to another with lowest operating expenditure. The technology, single radio access network, allows an operator to use a single network to provide multiple mobile communication standards, such as 3G and 4G.

Nokia bagged 34 contracts, the highest in the past four years, from major Indian operators in 2014, including for 2G and 3G expansion and 4G deployment.

Nokia recently bagged a $200 million contract from Bharti Airtel, India's top telecom operator, to build the country's first 4G network in the 1800 MHz band, in six telecom zones.

The Nokia study showed that 3G data consumption in India was 52 per cent of the total data consumption in December 2014 against 42 per cent in January 2014.

With an increase in 3G data consumption and a migration to 4G technology with the increased use of smart phones, Nokia expects technology demand for 4G to increase.


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