Bharti Airtel CEO and Joint MD Manoj Kohli

By Carole Kimutai, Nairobi, Kenya

Bharti Airtel has entered into an agreement with Nokia Siemens Networks to expand its 2G (GSM/EDGE) networks and deploy 3G networks in seven African countries.

Under the agreement, Nokia Siemens Networks will manage end-to-end network operations, including planning, designing and implementing the 2G and 3G networks for Airtel.

The vendor will provide its energy-efficient Flexi Multiradio Base Stations to expand network coverage to under-served areas, including smaller towns and villages in the seven countries.

“This agreement manifests our commitment to provide world-class, innovative and affordable mobile services to customers in Africa. We believe Nokia Siemens Networks’ global expertise in managed services and compact energy-efficient network equipment are a perfect fit to our long-term goal to be the leading telecommunications provider in the African continent. This partnership will further enable us to rapidly expand our network coverage and provide high-speed wireless internet connectivity to our customers,” says Manoj Kohli, CEO, (International) and Joint Managing Director, Bharti Airtel.

According to Rajeev Suri, chief executive officer of Nokia Siemens Networks, subscribers everywhere are increasingly demanding better network quality and superior services.

Nokia Siemens Networks will use its FlexiHybrid microwave radio to address growing data traffic and provide the platform for a cost-effective transition to 3G, and potentially 4G networks in the future. The company will also provide its NetAct network management system for effective network monitoring and management.

In addition, Nokia Siemens Networks’ end-to-end managed services will enable Airtel to focus on delivering better customer experience and offer more innovative products and services to customers across markets, the companies said in a statement.

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