Bharti awards TD-LTE deal to ZTE

Dylan Bushell-Embling
03 Oct 2011

Indian incumbent Bharti Airtel will source its TD-LTE equipment from ZTE for an initial rollout in one circle.

The operator is understood to be planning to deploy 4G in the Kolkata area, and expand into other regions where it holds BWA spectrum if the model proves successful,according to the Economic Times.

Bharti paid 33.1 billion rupees ($676.3 million) for spectrum in four of India's 22 telecom circles, including Kolkata, during last year's $8 billion BWA auctions.

ZTE has confirmed it has been contracted to commission sites in the initial one circle. The deal marks the Chinese vendor's first TD-LTE deal in the lucrative Indian market.

The prime minister's IT advisor last month predicted that the mobile sector will spend tens of billions of dollars rolling out BWA services including TD-LTE.

Qualcomm is another company with TD-LTE ambitions in India, but last month had its application for the BWA license it paid around $1 billion for rejected by the telecom ministry.

The chipmaker has appealed the decision, and last week won a ruling ordering the department not to reallocate the spectrum until the appeal is heard.

ZTE has separately announced it has been chosen as the “primary strategic partner” for Softbank's planned 4G network, one day after Huawei revealed its involvement in the same project.

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