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Ericsson Wins $2B Bharti Deal

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STOCKHOLM -- Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) and Bharti Airtel have signed one of the world's largest network expansion deals, worth an estimated USD 2 billion. The state-of-the-art network will help Airtel offer world-class and cost-effective products and services to its customers, and help it expand its reach in rural India. It is Ericsson's largest deal to date.

Bharti Airtel, India's leading integrated telecom service provider, has awarded Ericsson an estimated USD 2 billion expansion contract, including expansion of its GSM/EDGE network and providing capacity management. The expansion is in line with Bharti Airtel's objective to offer world-class and cost effective telecom products and services to its customers through a state-of-the-art, converged network across the country. The deal will allow Bharti Airtel to expand its reach into rural areas thereby further consolidating its leadership position.

Under the two-year supply and services contract, Ericsson will design, plan, deploy, optimize and manage Bharti Airtel's GSM network across 15 circles in India as well as for its pan-India pre-paid platform across 23 circles. In addition, Ericsson will also deliver pan-India integrated device management solutions, enabling usage of advanced data services by all mobile customers across retail and enterprise segments.

Manoj Kohli, President and CEO, Bharti Airtel, says: "At Bharti, it has always been our endeavor to offer world-class products and services to our customers. Our partnership with Ericsson is testament to this belief as it allows us to focus on delivering a better customer experience, leveraging Ericsson's global expertise to enhance our networks.

"The state-of-the-art network will further allow us to offer more innovative products and solutions in the areas of voice and data such as community-based charging, location-based services and enterprise VPN services. Bharti and Ericsson are also looking at forming a focus group to work on energy optimization by way of introducing energy-efficient equipment and alternate energy sources."

Mats Granryd, President, Ericsson India, says: "This contract is an important part of realizing Bharti's vision of a converged network and of expanding coverage in rural India to launch innovative voice and data services for the Indian consumer. We are honored that Bharti Airtel has chosen to partner with us in this grand venture that underpins our strategy of providing communications for all through sustainable and innovative solutions."

Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC)

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