Vodafone Idea has contracted Ericsson to deploy 5G-ready LTE equipment as part of its network consolidation and modernization program.
Under the agreement, Ericsson will help integrate the networks of the merged Vodafone India and Idea Cellular.
As part of the contract, Ericsson will supply radio systems and transport equipment from its 5G-ready Ericsson Radio System portfolio.
The deployments will provide Vodafone Idea with high capacity, low latency microwave backhaul and an easy upgrade path to 5G.
Vodafone Idea plans to consolidate its existing deployed 2G and 3G network to maximize spectrum availability for LTE. This will be followed by ongoing optimization of the network in order to enhance end-user experience.
“We have been strategic partners to both Vodafone India and Idea Cellular for several years, and now we enter a new phase of partnership with this deal with Vodafone Idea,” Ericsson head of SEA, Oceania and India Nunzio Mirtillo said.
“The 5G-ready solutions in the Ericsson Radio System portfolio will help boost the capacity of Vodafone Idea's LTE network and broaden the availability of high-quality mobile broadband services for its customers. These deployments will play an important role in building [the operator's] future-ready 5G network."
Vodafone India and Idea Cellular completed a $23 billion merger in September, but the combined company is currently operating both the Vodafone and Idea brands independently.