Finnish hardware vendor Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) has announced that it has been selected by Indian cellco Unitech Wireless to supply GSM network equipment for the operator’s rollout in six circles: Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. NSN will also take responsibility for network operation and maintenance as a part of the Managed Services contract with the mobile operator. The network will be built using NSN’s Flexi BTS platform, which the vendor claims will enable Unitech to provide a high level of coverage using a minimal number of base stations. In addition, the BTS platform is 3G- and LTE-ready, allowing Unitech to offer new technologies in the future. NSN will also deploy its mobile softswitching solution, which it claims can bring savings in operating expenses of up to 70%. Commenting on the agreement, Stein Erik Vellan, Unitech’s managing director, said: ‘We are creating a new global telecom model. We call it the Telco of the Next Decade that leverages existing competencies in the market to drive cost and time efficiencies, superior quality and flexibility that future proofs our operations in a rapidly changing competitive environment. Our partnership with Nokia Siemens Networks will help us pursue our unique model in these six circles as well.’
Unitech, which is 49%-owned by Norwegian telecoms group Telenor, will offer services under the recently unveiled Uninor banner. The cellco holds a pan-India unified access service licence (UASL), and has already received spectrum for 21 of the country’s telecoms circles. It is expected to launch commercially by the end of 2009.