Airtel signs agreement with Nokia Siemens Networks for 2G expansion, 3G deployment and managed services in Africa

New Delhi, India / Nairobi, Kenya – September 29, 2011

Nokia Siemens Networks to expand, plan and operate mobile networks for Airtel in seven African countries

Bharti Airtel (‘Airtel’), a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 19 countries across Asia and Africa, announced today it has entered into an agreement with Nokia Siemens Networks to expand its 2G (GSM/EDGE) networks and deploy 3G networks in seven African countries. Under the agreement, Nokia Siemens Networks will manage end-to-end network operations, including planning, designing and implementing the 2G and 3G networks for Airtel. The vendor will provide its energy-efficient Flexi Multiradio Base Stations* to expand network coverage to under-served areas, including smaller towns and villages in the seven countries**.

Manoj Kohli, CEO, (International) and joint managing director, Bharti Airtel, said: “This agreement manifests our commitment to provide world-class, innovative and affordable mobile services to customers in Africa. We believe Nokia Siemens Networks’ global expertise in managed services and compact energy-efficient network equipment are a perfect fit to our long-term goal to be the leading telecommunications provider in the African continent. This partnership will further enable us to rapidly expand our network coverage and provide high-speed wireless internet connectivity to our customers.”

Rajeev Suri, chief executive officer of Nokia Siemens Networks, said: “Subscribers everywhere are increasingly demanding better network quality and superior services. We look forward to working closely with Airtel to expand its network rapidly, and deliver the right innovative products and services to help meet these demands.”

Nokia Siemens Networks will use its FlexiHybrid microwave radio to address growing data traffic and provide the platform for a cost-effective transition to 3G, and potentially 4G networks in the future. The company will also provide its NetAct network management system for effective network monitoring and management.

In addition, Nokia Siemens Networks’ end-to-end managed services will enable Airtel to focus on delivering better customer experience and offer more innovative products and services to customers across markets.

About Bharti Airtel Limited

Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 19 countries across Asia and Africa. The company offers mobile voice & data services, fixed line, high speed broadband, IPTV, DTH, turnkey telecom solutions for enterprises and national & international long distance services to carriers. Bharti Airtel has been ranked among the six best performing technology companies in the world by BusinessWeek. Bharti Airtel had over 233 million customers across its operations at the end of August 2011. To know more please visit www.airtel.com

About Nokia Siemens Networks

Nokia Siemens Networks is a leading global enabler of telecommunications services. With its focus on innovation and sustainability, the company provides a complete portfolio of mobile, fixed and converged network technology, as well as professional services including consultancy and systems integration, deployment, maintenance and managed services. It is one of the largest telecommunications hardware, software and professional services companies in the world. Operating in 150 countries, its headquarters are in Espoo, Finland.
www.nokiasiemensnetworks.com

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Media Enquiries

Nokia Siemens Networks
Carlyle Fernandez
Corporate Communications - Africa
Phone: +971 55 5538241
E-mail: carlyle [dot] fernandez [at] nsn [dot] com

Media Relations
Phone: +358 7180 31451
E-mail: mediarelations [at] nsn [dot] com

Bharti Airtel
Mike Okwiri
Vice President - Corporate Communications & PR - Airtel Africa
Parkside Towers, Mombasa Road, P. O. Box 962 - 00100, Nairobi, Kenya
E-mail: michael [dot] okwiri [at] airtel [dot] com

 

Notes to editors:

*Nokia Siemens Networks’ Flexi Multiradio Base Station opens a smooth evolution path from GSM and 3G to LTE-Advanced with just a software upgrade. Building on the company’s market-leading Flexi platform, the software definable Flexi Multiradio Base Station enables to run GSM/EDGE, WCDMA/HSPA/HSPA+ LTE and LTE- Advanced concurrently in a single unit. With the introduction of the Flexi Multiradio Base Station into the market, a 70% improvement in power consumption has been achieved compared to a cabinet-based site, used earlier. We have already shipped our LTE-capable Flexi Multiradio Base Station to more than 200 operators globally.

** The seven countries are Madagascar, Malawi, Congo Brazzaville, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

With the new agreement, Nokia Siemens Networks supplies 3G radio access to more than 200 operator networks around the world – more than any other vendor. This underpins the company’s position as the industry leader in the area of 3G (WCDMA/HSPA) networks.