Siemens Networks bags Aircel contract

BANGALORE: Nokia Siemens Networks Communications India (NSN) has won its first contract from Aircel, a subsidiary of Malaysia’s Maxis Group, to build and operate a greenfield GSM network in Kolkata.

The Rs 3 billion contract includes supply of GSM/EDGE equipment, implementation, project management and managed services, such as operating and maintaining the network infrastructure.

NSN will deploy equipment like Flexi base stations, mini-ultra base stations, 3GPP-based mobile soft-switching solution including MSC Servers and Media Gateways PDH, SDH. The network will be supported by the multi-technology, multi-vendor NetAct network and service management system, and will be ready for commercial operations by December 2007.


As per industry sources, NSN has been a major supplier to all the other GSM service providers’ in India, viz. Bharati, BSNL, Hutch and Idea cellular. In this particular contract, among the other major contenders were Motorola and Ericsson. Ericsson has already supplied equipment to Aircel for their some of their existing circles. The Kolkata circle is their tenth one.

An NSN release quotes Maxis ceo and Aircel-director Sandip Das, “Today’s announcement is a critical juncture in our network rollout strategy, as NSN have joined the consortium of our prime network partners. The Kolkata rollout completes our East/North-East geographic footprint, besides lending us its strategic commercial importance in the region.” He added “We chose NSN as they met our three key criteria – rich technology features, extensive managed service experience and speedy network deployment commitment.”


The release further quotes Aircel ceo-north and east – Rohit Chandra as saying “Our partnership with NSN will provide us with the latest GSM technologies such as the multi-radio Flexi Base Station Platform that will not only help us provide services today but will also makes our network ready for 3G and WIMAX services as and when the regulation permits.”

As per the release, NSN - Head India Sub-region Ashish Chowdhary, said with regards to Aircel’s provisioning of mobile services in a greenfield network by going for Managed Services right from the start, “This will not only help them in achieving OPEX savings but also allow them to focus on their customers’ acquisition and service strategies from the first day of commercial operations.”

Aircel which was acquired by Maxis Communications Berhad, Malaysia for $1.08 billion, with the deal injecting S280 million cash has a subscriber base of over 6.2 million with a claimed market leadership in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Assam, and is present in 9 telecom circles -Assam, Bihar, Chennai, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, North East, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. Aircel has secured licenses for the remaining 14 of the 23 telecom circles. Additionally, Aircel has also obtained the nod from Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to provide International Long Distance (ILD) and National Long Distance (NLD) telephony services.


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