India's Vodafone Essar Names 3G Suppliers

Nokia Networks and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) have landed the 3G equipment and professional services business handed out by India's third-largest mobile operator, Vodafone India . (See Vodafone Essar Picks NSN.)

NSN is supplying access and core network equipment and providing managed services capabilities in six of the nine circles (service areas) where Vodafone Essar holds 3G licenses -- Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh (East), West Bengal, and Haryana. (See A Guide to India's Telecom Market for a map of India's circles.)

The vendor is also providing network planning and project management services, and will run the network for three years, using its own Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) system (NetAct performance management software).

Ericsson, meanwhile, is offering access and core infrastructure, plus "network rollout services, tuning, spare parts and training services" in three metro circles -- Mumbai, New Delhi, and Kolkata. (See India's 3G Auction Ends, Raises $14.6B.)

The value of the deals was not announced, though industry trends suggest the vendors' margins will be razor thin. (See India's 3G Equipment Market a 'Bloodbath'.)

NSN and Ericsson have already landed other 3G deals in India, along with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763). (See More 3G Action in India, Reliance Hands 3G Deal to ZTE, and Huawei Bags India 3G Deal.)

Vodafone Essar has around 114 million 2G customers, giving it a market share of nearly 17 percent. Only Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL) and Reliance Communications Ltd. , with market shares of 21 percent and 17.2 percent respectively, are bigger.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

bbiswas 12/5/2012 | 4:21:17 PM
re: India's Vodafone Essar Names 3G Suppliers

Selection of NSN and Ericsson is Vodafone's way to show a clear upgrade path from the imminent 3G to the future 4G (LTE - the Long Termo Evolution) offering. Both NSN and Ericsson are the leaders in the LTE access and core networking equipment in the LTE and both have an upgrade path from 3G to LTE for other service providers.

Vodafone seems to be preparing itself for the number two slot in India in the mobile wireless area and is willing to invest accordingly.

Sign In