Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Jun 18, 2004
Hutchison in pact with Nokia for network, gear
New Delhi , June 17
ESSAR-HUTCHISON has signed a deal with Nokia for supply of mobile infrastructure for an undisclosed amount. As part of the agreement, Nokia will supply GSM-based radio network to nine of Hutchison's 13 telecom circles.
Under the agreement, Nokia will deploy switching equipment and high-capacity GSM radio networks to enhance Hutchison's existing GSM networks in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and the city of Chennai.
Nokia will also supply GSM radio networks to Hutchison's new circles in West Bengal and western Uttar Pradesh. Switching equipment for West Bengal is part of the deal as well.
Nokia will continue supplying to Hutchison complete GSM network systems in Gujarat, as well as GSM radio networks in Rajasthan, Haryana, and eastern Uttar Pradesh.
The equipment Nokia is supplying is upgradeable to EDGE to support high-speed data applications, a release said.
"By consolidating our supplier agreements, we are determined to cost-effectively improve coverage and capacity in our present networks and smoothly roll out service in the new ones," said Mr Asim Ghosh, Managing Director, Hutchison India.
"Nokia's high-capacity radio networks and switching solutions are well-suited for the job, and we are convinced that this deployment will benefit our customers now and in the future."
Mr Rajeev Suri, Vice-President (Networks), Nokia, said: "We are pleased that Hutchison has chosen us as their main supplier in this rapidly growing market and we look forward to working with them to enhance the user experience of Hutchison customers."
The deal assumes significance for Nokia, which is also in line for bagging a major contract for rolling out four million cellular lines for BSNL.
Until now the company did not have any major contracts for supply of mobile network equipment, though it is the market leader in the handset segment.
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