Vodafone set to award $1.8b deal to 3 firms"”sources

After assuming the reins at Hutch-Essar, UK's Vodafone Group, the world's largest mobile services company, is set to award one of India's largest network expansion contracts estimated to be worth about $1.8 billion jointly to three equipment vendors, including Nokia-Siemens Networks, Ericsson and Motorola, an Economic Times report, quoting sources, said.

The report said Vodafone Essar currently offers mobile services in 16 of the 23 telecom circles in the country.

Sources close to the development said that the contract would be discussed at Vodafone Essar's next board meeting in September, the date for which is yet to be finalized.

According to sources, Nokia Siemens Networks is likely to be the principal supplier of network electronics like base tower stations, base station controllers and transcoders in 12 out of Vodafone Essar's 16 existing circles.

Motorola, in turn, is slated to supply base tower stations, sources said.

Vodafone offers 2G cellular services in all the 16 circles. It operates in the 900 MHz band in 12 circles and 1,800 MHz band in the remaining ones.

When contacted, all three vendors neither confirmed nor denied the development, the report said.

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