Finnish telecom giant Nokia has landed a three-year contract to provide LTE network infrastructure to Vodafone India, according to Indian press reports.
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) would be deploying LTE networks in the circles of Mumbai, Kolkata and Punjab, according to the reports. Vodafone India is believed to have awarded 4G rollout deals for two circles (service areas) to Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. last year.
The operator recently launched a network based on FDD-LTE technology in Kochi and Mysore, using spectrum in the 1800MHz frequency band. It plans to launch 4G services in the metro cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru by March 2016.
Other service providers, like Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL) and Idea Cellular Ltd. , have also launched 4G services in a few circles in India, while government-backed Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) is planning to introduce them in Punjab.
Meanwhile, new entrant Reliance Jio has begun providing 4G services to the 100,000 employees of parent company Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) . It aims to roll out services commercially later this year. (See RJio Sputters Into Lyf With 4G 'Launch'.)
India has emerged as one of Nokia's fastest-growing markets in recent quarters. The Finnish vendor bagged 30 Indian deals in the first six months of last year, when it is also thought to have landed a $100 million IMS contract with Reliance Jio.
Rapid growth in India's 4G ecosystem means more such deals could be on the horizon, although Nokia will face strong competition from big rivals such as Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Huawei and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763).
Besides profiting from 4G, Nokia continues to perform well in India's older 3G market. Bharti Airtel, the country's largest service provider, turned to Nokia for 3G work in five new telecom circles and three where it already had networks. Under the four-year contract, Nokia will provide radio equipment and services expertise to the operator.
— Gagandeep Kaur, contributing editor, special to Light Reading