Airtel enlists Nokia for 1800MHz FDD-LTE rollout, TD-LTE expansion

28 Jan 2015

Bharti Airtel has chosen Nokia Networks to deploy Frequency Division Duplex Long Term Evolution (FDD-LTE) networks in six new circles, as well as expanding the operator’s Time Division (TD)-LTE footprint into two other operating areas. The new FDD-LTE systems will use frequencies in the 1800MHz band, marking the first time the spectrum range has been used for FDD-LTE in India. Under the terms of the deal, the Finnish vendor will provide professional services – such as network planning and optimisation, implementation, systems integration and hardware care – its NetAct network management system, Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Stations, and its Flexi Zone small cell solution. Airtel CTO Abhay Savargaonkar commented on the deal: ‘With our commitment to build an efficient internet ecosystem in India, we continue to introduce new technologies and strengthen our existing capabilities. Having already launched the high-speed 4G services across four circles of India, we are now looking at extending this enriching high-speed broadband experience to new circles on 1800MHz band. Our association with Nokia Networks will help us support our vision and provide a superior 4G network.’

The six circles due to receive FDD-LTE coverage are Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, North East, Punjuab, Rajasthan and Karnataka, whilst Mumbai and Kerala will be added to the cellco’s TD-LTE footprint, the Economic Times quotes an unnamed source as saying.