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Nokia Networks in talks with Vodafone, Idea Cellular & Uninor to roll out 4G services

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Nokia Networks is talking to carriers including Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Uninor for possible deals to roll out networks on fourth-generation technology as the Finnish telecom equipment maker looks to build on a strong 2014, when it signed nearly three dozen contracts in India.

"We work with all operators in India for 2G and 3G network. We are current supplier to Uninor for 2G and Vodafone and Idea for 2G and 3G technologies. So it's natural that we speak to all of them as their network evolves from 3G towards 4G," Sandeep Girotra, the company's head of India region, told ET.

Nokia can offer them the Single-RAN technology which will help them transition from one technology to another with lowest operating expenditure, he said. The technology, single radio access network, allows an operator to use a single network to provide multiple mobile communication standards, such as 3G and 4G.

Nokia bagged 34 contracts, the highest in the past four years, from major Indian operators in 2014, including for 2G and 3G expansion and 4G deployment. The most recent was a $200 million contract from India's top telecom operator, Bharti Airtel, to build the country's first 4G network in the 1800 MHz band in six telecom zones.

The company is also exploring opportunities related to the government's Smart City and Digital India initiatives, and plans to partner with the government and telecom clients to deploy services and create broadband highways.

Girotra said the company can play a big role in building a strong mobile broadband network that can be used to provide services like e-governance and m-health, supporting the Digital India programme.

The company's mapping business, HERE, along with its research work on sensors can be useful for the smart city project, he said. "We have mapped 6,30,000 villages and 7,000 towns and cities and have made content available in various Indian languages, which can be useful for providing various smart city-based services".

Nokia's India-born president and chief executive, Rajeev Suri, recently met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the role the Finnish company could play in supporting India's transformation through initiatives like Digital India and Make in India.


Nokia Networks in talks with Vodafone, Idea Cellular & Uninor to roll out 4G services - The Economic Times
 
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