Idea Cellular, Nokia sign $500 mn deal

New Delhi, May 17 (IANS) The Aditya Birla group-promoted Idea Cellular, one of India’s leading mobile service operators, Thursday announced a $500 million network expansion deal with Finland-based telecom infrastructure firm Nokia Siemens Network.

Under the deal, Nokia Siemens Network will expand Idea Cellular’s GSM networks in six circles of Delhi, Haryana, eastern and western Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.

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The contract, valid for two years, includes supply and services of GSM equipment, value-added services and packet core equipment.

“This expansion is part of our larger growth strategy to take our services to more consumers by penetrating deeper in the circles we operate. This will allow us to more than double our existing capacity and reach out to thousands of new population centres in these circles,” Idea Cellular managing director Sanjeev Aga said in a statement here.

“Nokia Siemens Networks, with its cutting edge technology and its long standing relationship with Idea, is a key partner in our programme of taking our business to a higher trajectory,” he added.

Idea Cellular, part of the $24 billion Aditya Birla group, operates in 13 telecom circles in India with a customer base of 15 million.

The Euro 17.1 billion Nokia Siemens Networks has operations in some 150 countries. It combines handset-maker Nokia’s Networks Business Group and the carrier related businesses of Siemens Communications.