Aircel inks deal with Ericsson for 3G network rollout

16 Nov 2010

Swedish vendor Ericsson has been selected by Indian mobile network operator Aircel to roll out a 3G/HSPA network across six of the latter’s licence areas. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in May 2010 Aircel bagged concessions allowing it to roll out third generation services in 13 of India’s telecom circles, paying INR64.99 billion (USD1.45 billion) for the licences. The six circles that Ericsson will take responsibility for – Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Orissa, Jammu & Kashmir, North East and Assam – serve more than 100 million subscribers in total, and the vendor has claimed that it will be Aircel’s largest partner for 3G implementation. Under the terms of the agreement between the two companies, Ericsson will provide core, radio and transmission network equipment as well as related services such as network rollout, network technology and consulting, radio network optimisation and support services. In addition, the new infrastructure will include the latest multi-standard radio base station, RBS6000, and the MSC Server Blade Cluster, which it is claimed will boost the capacity of the network and evolve it into an IP network. The framework contract will be implemented from 2010 to 2012, with network deployment already underway, and Aircel and Ericsson made a first successful 3G call last week in Chennai and Coimbatore. Commenting on the deal, Gurdeep Singh, Aircel’s chief operating officer, said: ‘For many people in India connected for the first time, 3G mobile broadband will bring completely new types of services and benefits. We are confident that with this partnership, we will benefit from Ericsson’s global expertise of 3G deployments, and will be able to offer our customers a world-class 3G experience.’

India, Aircel, Ericsson