Nokia signs $24 m expansion deal with Idea

MUMBAI: Nokia and Idea Cellular have signed a $24 million agreement for the supply of Nokia GSM/GPRS network equipment and multimedia services nationwide in India.

With this deal, Nokia becomes the sole supplier of Idea's GPRS network.

The deliveries have already begun and the project is scheduled for completion before the end of 2004. "We appreciate Nokia's deep understanding of the business and its approach in providing flexible solutions. Nokia's global leadership in GSM/GPRS and its proven technology roadmaps will put Idea at the forefront of providing high quality and innovative mobile services to our customers," says Idea Cellular Limited CEO Vikram Mehmi.

Idea now operates in 11 circles across India and Nokia will now expand Idea's GSM network for the Delhi and Andhra Pradesh circles, while extending the present GPRS core of Delhi to four circles - Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Nokia has been working with Idea since 1996, providing turnkey services for the operator's GSM infrastructure over this period, according to an official release.

"We are happy that Idea has selected Nokia as the sole supplier of their GPRS network. Through this agreement, Idea's data network capability will be enhanced to handle the expected growth in data services whilst ensuring a smooth and efficient GSM evolution path," says Nokia Networks Asia Pacific country head (India and South Asia) Ashish Chowdhary.

"Together with Nokia, Idea is well-positioned to provide high-quality mobile services to its fast expanding customer base as the Indian mobile industry grows at unprecedented rates," added Chowdhary.

The release also stated that under the GSM/GPRS expansion deal, Nokia will supply the complete range of Nokia GSM/GPRS equipment such as Base Station Subsystems, Switching SubSystems, GPRS Core Network, Short Message Service System, Multimedia Messaging center expansion and Nokia download solution. They will also provide the Nokia Connect Site base station, which is part of the Nokia Connect GSM solution for new growth markets. Nokia is also providing an extensive set of services including IP planning support, network element installation and commissioning well as maintenance services.

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