Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) has announced that it has secured a contract worth USD700 million from Bharti Airtel for network improvements. The vendor will expand and upgrade Airtel’s 2.5G GSM-based network in eight circles, boosting capacity by 50%. The network expansion will cover Mumbai, Maharashtra and Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Jharkhand, Orissa, Calcutta and Bengal. The deal will enable Airtel to expand its footprint into rural India, which constitutes around 60% of its new customers. NSN said it will also ensure the cellco’s core and transport network is 3G-ready to enable fast rollout of 3G services at a later date.