Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung Sign 5G Contracts with Airtel

After the conclusion of India’s spectrum auction, Bharti Airtel signed 5G equipment contracts with Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung. The operator is targeting deployment of the technology later this month.

The Indian operator spent a total of $5.4 billion to secure 19,800MHz of spectrum in the 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 3300MHz, and 26GHz bands and is the first in the nation to officially announce its equipment vendors. Airtel stated its decision to go with multiple vendors would enable it to roll out 5G services with a superior user experience, allowing it to pursue new use cases with enterprise and industry customers.

Ericsson explained Airtel would deploy its 5G RAN, radio system, and microwave mobile transport products. In total, the vendor will provide connectivity in 12 geographical regions in India. Nokia’s 5G RAN contract covers an approximately 45% market share, providing equipment from its AirScale portfolio, including modular and scalable baseband, as well as massive MIMO radios. Airtel stated its deal with Samsung was new and is scheduled to begin this year.

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