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Airtel 4G to reach nine circles via US$ 230-mn deal with Nokia as latter expands global PON

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MUMBAI: Finnish telecommunication network company and gear maker Nokia has pocketed a 4G network deal from Bharti Airtel in nine telecom service areas. Nokia meantime is also extending its fiber solution for universal next-gen passive optical networks (PON) to help operators more effectively scale, deploy and automate their networks as the demand for data grows.

Nokia will deploy its available 4G technologies across Airtel regions of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Rest of Bengal, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Odisha, Kerala and UP East. The coverage expansion will include major cities such as Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Patna and Siliguri.

According to sources cited by Financial Express, the deal between the two telecoms is estimated to be worth around US$ 230 million.

Nokia's head of India market Sanjay Malik said, with the latest agreement, they had become the largest supplier of 4G for Airtel. The network expansion would provide the speed, capacity, coverage Airtel needs to meet the next wave of data demand in India, he added.

The new agreement with Nokia will see Airtel expand the deployment of 4G technology in three new circles in addition to six circles it already serves, enabling launch of new services that started in September.

Agreement between Nokia and Bharti Airtel will enhance coverage and access in urban, suburban and rural areas within nine circles in India, it added.

Nokia's universal PON solution launched in 2015 leverages existing fiber platforms and infrastructure to help operators evolve networks in a gradual way, adding wavelengths in line with demand.

The solution offers various next generation PON technologies including XGS-PON and TWDM-PON on a single platform and line card. Operators can connect subscribers with any type of optical network terminal (ONTs) regardless of whether it's XGPON1, XGS-PON or TWDM-PON, eliminating the risk of technology and platform lock-in, the New Indian Express reported.

Now, Nokia is enhancing its universal solution to provide operators with a higher density option that can reduce costs. Increasing deployment flexibility, the enhancements include new SDN/NFV-based capabilities that automate and simplify the deployment, maintenance and evolution of traditional fiber networks. This provides a smooth evolution path to 10G symmetrical or asymmetrical speeds with cost-efficient non-tunable XGS-PON optics and to TWDM-PON with tunable optics.

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