Voda Awards 2,040-crore 4G Con­tract to Eric­s­son

The Economic Times - - Companies: Pursuit Of Profit - Dan­ish.Khan@

timesin­ter­net.in New Delhi: Voda­fone In­dia has awarded a 4G de­ploy­ment con­tract worth $300 mil­lion (about ₹ 2,040 crore) to Swedish gear maker Eric­s­son for UP West, Ra­jasthan, Odisha, North East and As­sam tele­com zones, peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter said. “The de­ploy­ment of 4G LTE net­work is ex­pected to be com­pleted by the third quar­ter of 2017. Eric­s­son, un­der this con­tract, is de­ploy­ing its full ra­dio sys­tem port­fo­lio that of­fers 50% im­proved en­ergy ef­fi­ciency,” said one of the per­sons, who did not wish to be iden­ti­fied. Queries emailed by ET to Eric­s­son and Voda­fone In­dia did not elicit any re­sponse till late evening on Tuesday.

Voda­fone In­dia, the do­mes­tic arm of the Bri­tish tele­com firm, which is ex­pe­dit­ing its net­work ex­pan­sion and ramp­ing up ca­pac­i­ties to counter big­ger ri­val Bharti Air­tel and the 4G en­trant Reliance Jio, is cur­rently in talks with Aditya Birla Groupowned Idea Cel­lu­lar for a po­ten­tial equal merger. Voda­fone In­dia and Idea Cel­lu­lar have com­mon net­work equip­ment and man­aged ser­vices ven­dors. The pro­posed merger could lead to re­align­ments of ex­ist­ing con­tracts with their re­spec­tive part­ners, in­dus­try an­a­lysts said. Both the tel­cos may have to rene­go­ti­ate some vendor con­tracts to op­ti­mise net­work and bring in op­er­a­tional ef­fi­ciency on a cir­cle-to-cir­cle ba­sis, they said. The two com­pa­nies had bought spec­trum in the 2016 auc­tions.

Voda­fone In­dia has given net­work roll­out con­tracts for all its 4G cir­cles, in­clud­ing a 4G LTE de­ploy­ment and ex­pan­sion deal worth 450-500 mil­lion (about ₹ 3,650 crore) to Nokia cov­er­ing 10 cir­cles and a sim­i­lar con­tract to Huawei in Kar­nataka, Ker­ala and Delhi cir­cles. Voda­fone also awarded a multi-year man­aged ser­vices con­tract, worth 200 mil­lion (about ₹ 1,420 crore) to Nokia, cov­er­ing sev­eral tele­com cir­cles.

It had last year awarded a three-year man­aged ser­vices and net­work op­er­a­tions con­tract worth $180-220 mil­lion to Huawei in some cir­cles, ET had ear­lier re­ported.

The tele­com car­ri­ers will have to choose be­tween ven­dors run­ning par­al­lel ser­vice and sup­ply con­tracts, so as to keep one net­work. They may even re­dis­tribute ge­ogra­phies be­tween sup­pli­ers, a se­nior ex­ec­u­tive at one of the tower providers re­cently told ET. Voda­fone In­dia has al­ready launched 4G ser­vices across all 17 cir­cles planned and it is now rapidly ex­pand­ing 4G foot­print within these cir­cles.

Co has also awarded a 4G roll­out deal to Nokia worth 3,650 cr cov­er­ing 10 cir­cles and an­other to Huawei for three cir­cles

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