Airtel extends pact with Ericsson for deployment of 5G-ready radio network

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Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”), India’s largest integrated communications service provider, and Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) have strengthened their long-standing partnership with a renewed multi-year contract to supply and deploy 5G-ready radio and transport solutions from Ericsson.

The continued deployment of Ericsson Radio System products and solutions will enhance Airtel’s network capacity and deliver a superior experience to its customers. By using MINI-LINK 6000 products, Airtel will also increase the network’s backhaul capacities.

The extended agreement is another milestone in the companies’ 25-year partnership and follows the announcement of a renewed Pan-India managed services contract in July of this year.

Randeep Sekhon, CTO, Bharti Airtel says: “At Airtel, we are obsessed with delivering the best network experience to our customers, especially in these unprecedented times when digital connectivity is more important than ever. We are delighted to deepen our partnership with Ericsson as part of our endeavor to build a network ready for 5G and beyond.”

Nunzio Mirtillo, Head of Ericsson South East Asia, Oceania and India, says: “We appreciate the trust Airtel has shown in us by making their network 5G-ready and expanding our footprint in their network. The products manufactured in India will continue to benefit Indian users by enhancing Airtel’s network capacity and enabling it to cater to the country’s fast-growing data traffic needs.” 

Ericsson was the first telecom equipment provider to start manufacturing in India in 1994 and today the company manufactures 4G and 5G radios as well as microwave products at its Pune production facility. This facility is part of Ericsson’s global production footprint with presence in six continents, allowing Ericsson to secure fast and agile deliveries to meet customer requirements.

As per the June 2020 edition of Ericsson Mobility Report, India remains the region with the highest   usage per smartphone per month. Total traffic is projected to triple, reaching 21EB per month in 2025. In the India region, the average monthly mobile data usage per smartphone continues to show robust growth, boosted by the rapid adoption of 4G. LTE remains the dominant technology, accounting for 49 percent of mobile subscriptions in 2019. LTE will continue to be dominant, representing 64 percent of mobile subscriptions in 2025. LTE subscriptions in the India region are forecast to increase from 550 million in 2019 to 820 million in 2025, increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7 percent.

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