Ericsson scores its first LTE-FDD contract in Delhi

Ericsson won its first LTE-FDD network deployment deal in Delhi, India, with a four-year equipment supply contract from Bharti Airtel that will be extended to cover four more areas where the operator holds licences.

The equipment vendor said it will deploy its RBS 6000 family of base stations to construct macro and small cell networks in Delhi, and will also roll out its LTE RAN software for Bharti Airtel. Ericsson said the equipment works seamlessly with existing 2G and 3G infrastructure, and will enable the operator to meet growing demand for mobile broadband services in the region.

Paolo Colella, head of region India at Ericsson, said the company's expertise will enable it to deploy Bharti Airtel's Delhi 4G network "in record time," and that the network will "enable Airtel subscribers to enjoy a seamless, high-speed mobile broadband experience."

Bharti Airtel CTO Abhay Savargaonkar said the operator is deploying the network in Delhi first because the area is "currently experiencing a rapid increase in the uptake of data-centric services" by smartphone users.

In a statement, Ericsson said the LTE-FDD network would provide subscribers with faster web browsing, downloads and video on demand, among other services. The deal also covers deployment in four additional Bharti Airtel operating regions, which are known as circles in India.

The equipment vendor separately revealed that Bharti Airtel has also hired it to expand its 3G network across eight circles, in a four-year deal covering the 2100 MHz band and 900 MHz band

Savargaonkar said the 900 MHz element involves the refarming of existing spectrum for 3G services in three of the eight circles, and aims to deliver "additional capacity and better indoor coverage."

The CTO explained that the operator is extending its 3G network to cope with growing subscriber demand for "ubiquitous network performance and superior user experience."

For more:
- see Ericsson's LTE announcement
- read this related 3G statement

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Ericsson: LTE leads way as mobile broadband subscriptions hit 3.1B
Ericsson, Swisscom claim European first in LTE carrier aggregation
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