Bharti likely to split TD-LTE deals

Dylan Bushell-Embling
14 Oct 2011
Daily News

India's largest mobile operator, Bharti Airtel, is believed to be planning to use four different vendors for its TD-LTE rollout.

The operator is likely to award ZTE, Huawei, Ericsson and NSN contracts for TD-LTE rollouts, ETsaid, with each vendor set to handle one of the four telecom circles Bharti owns BWA spectrum in.

According to the publication's sources, each contract could be worth somewhere between $75 million and $100 million, and the decision to split the work between vendors is largely an attempt to optimize costs.

The expected plan would be consistent with the model Bharti Airtel has been using for its 3G rollouts, where it has used Ericsson, NSN and Huawei for the rollouts in the 13 circles it has licenses in.

Bharti Airtel paid 33.14 billion rupees ($673.4 million) for BWA spectrum in the Kolkata, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra circles during last year's auction.

A government IT advisor last month projected that the winners of the auction will be spending tens of billions of dollars on rolling out services.

Ericsson earlier this week claimed to have won India's first TD-LTE contract, with regional wireless broadband provider Augere. This deal covers two telecom circles.

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