Huawei has won a $300 million contract to extend and modernise the 2G network of Uninor, the Indian subsidiary of Telenor.
The three-year contract will see Huawei expand the network throughout 6 of India’s 22 telecom circles, upgrading around 24,000 base station sites. Huawei claims that the network can be made 4G ready via minor upgrades to both hardware and software, ensuring a smooth transition once Uninor receives the green light to begin offering 4G services.
Uninor currently only offers 2G services but is planning to launch 4G following trials conducted on its 1.8GHz spectrum. Since this band can be used for 4G services, Uninor will not have to obtain further spectrum to offer 4G – however, it will have to convert its current permit to a unified licence in order to offer 3G and 4G services.
Huawei is also providing Uninor with managed services relating to network planning and optimisation, as well as CEM and maintenance services. Uninor has 48 million connections in India, putting it in seventh place. It is scheduled to begin operating a new network, currently being built out by Nokia Networks, in the north-eastern state of Assam.