Mobile network upgrade - Airtel renews deal with Ericsson

Mobile network upgrade - Airtel renews deal with Ericsson

The increasing dependency on telecom services due to Covid-19 means companies are quick to upgrade their technology partnerships to keep up with the rapid pace of change and to avoid unexpected disruptions later. Most telecommunication providers are competing to provide good quality services to markedly improve customer experience. Companies are diversifying their service offerings with latest integrated technology including automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) – allowing telcos to manage the growing data requirements of customers in a digitally connected world.

Bharti Airtel (Airtel), India’s largest integrated telco, has renewed its agreement with Ericsson to provide pan-India managed network operations through Ericsson Operations Engine, which will be launched during 2020, as part of its three-year deal.

In addition, Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson will install the latest automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to enhance Airtel’s mobile network performance and customer experience. It will also manage Airtel’s network operation centres and field maintenance activities across India.

Randeep Sekhon, Chief Technology Officer, Bharti Airtel, says, “We are pleased to strengthen our deep partnership with Ericsson as part of our vision to build a future ready network that enables world-class experience for our customers. We are confident these new technologies will enable us to serve the emerging data requirements of customers in a digitally connected India.”

Ericsson has been on the top of Airtel’s list as it offers world-class technologies and competitive pricing. Some changes were made last year when Airtel replaced Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei with Ericsson in its Rajasthan circle in late 2019. Moreover, recent reports say that Airtel may also leave the Tamil Nadu circle partnership with Huawei.

Nunzio Mirtillo, SVP and Head of Ericsson Southeast Asia, Oceania and India, said: “Ericsson Operations Engine consolidates our position as the industry leader in network managed services. With over 300 global contracts, Ericsson has proven capabilities in managing multi-vendor and multi-technology networks. This agreement demonstrates the continued confidence in our products and solutions in Bharti Airtel’s network and IT operations.”

Since the Indian government has banned Chinese telecom gear makers from supplying equipment to state-owned telcos, private telcos are slowly shifting towards alternative gear makers, which will present new opportunities to competitors in the market.