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    • One of the largest network expansion deals estimated to be worth USD 2 bn
    • State of the art network to help Airtel offer world-class and cost effective products & services to customers
    • Network expansion will enable Airtel expand its reach in rural India

    New Delhi, July 18, 2007: Bharti Airtel, India’s leading integrated telecom service provider, has awarded Ericsson an estimated USD 2 billion expansion contract, including expansion of its GSM/EDGE network and providing capacity management. The expansion is in line with Bharti Airtel’s objective to offer world-class and cost effective telecom products and services to its customers through a state of the art, converged network across the country. The deal will allow Bharti Airtel to expand its reach into rural areas thereby further consolidating its leadership position. This is one of Ericsson’s largest deals to date.

    Under the two-year supply and services contract, Ericsson will design, plan, deploy, optimize and manage Bharti Airtel’s GSM network across 15 circles in India as well as for its pan-India prepaid (IN) platform across 23 circles.  In addition, Ericsson will also deliver pan-India Integrated Device Management Solutions, enabling usage of advanced data services by all mobile customers across retail and enterprise segments.

    Manoj Kohli, President & CEO, Bharti Airtel, says: “At Bharti, it has always been our endeavor to offer world-class products and services to our customers. Our partnership with Ericsson is testament to this belief as it allows us to focus on delivering a better customer experience   leveraging Ericsson’s global expertise to enhance our networks.”

    “ The state of the art network will further allow us to offer more innovative products and solutions in the areas of voice and data like community based charging, location based services and enterprise VPN services. Bharti and Ericsson is also looking at forming a focus group to work on energy optimization by way of introducing energy efficient equipments and alternate energy sources ”
    He added.

    Mats Granryd, Managing Director, Ericsson India, says “This contract is an important part of realizing Bharti’s vision of a converged network and of expanding coverage in rural India to launch innovative voice and data services for the Indian consumer. We are honored that Bharti Airtel has chosen to partner with us in this grand venture that underpins our strategy of providing communications for all through sustainable and innovative solutions.”

    The core network is based on Ericsson’s layered architecture philosophy that will pave the way to an all-IP environment, and includes a common 2G/3G core based on Mobile Softswitch; a robust Mobile Packet Backbone Network (Mobile PBN) for data services; and a pan-India pre-paid platform using IN (Intelligent Network) technology to deliver innovative pre-paid services to users with the shortest time-to-market as well as to allow Bharti to charge differentially for both voice and data; and a state-of-the-art location-based services (LBS) solution that will pave the way for unique location based services and applications to be launched for the Indian consumer.

    On the radio access side, the cornerstones for cost-efficient coverage including Ericsson’s latest radio access portfolio with opex-saving solutions such as Main-Remote design, Flamingo Series Radio Base Station and the Expander solution - will be deployed as part of this contract, to allow rapid expansion into rural markets. The core and access solutions will be supported by a robust and scaleable network backbone for all transmission requirements through Ericsson’s MINI-LINK transport portfolio, which also includes elements from Ericsson’s recently acquired Marconi portfolio.

    Ericsson has been a strategic partner of Bharti Airtel since 1995, and manages around 70 percent of its GSM/EDGE network in 15 circles in India. Ericsson’s nationwide charging solution (IN) caters to Airtel customers across all the 23 circles of Airtel Bharti.

    About Bharti Airtel Limited:

    Bharti Airtel Limited, a group company of Bharti Enterprises, India’s leading integrated telecom service provider, with an aggregate of 42.68 million customers as of end of May 31‘07, consisting of 40.74 million mobile customers. Bharti Airtel has been rated among the best performing companies in the world in the BusinessWeek IT 100 list 2007.

    Bharti Airtel is structured into three strategic business units - Mobile services, Broadband & Telephone (B&T) services and Enterprise services. The mobile business provides mobile & fixed wireless services using GSM technology across 23 telecom circles. The B&T business provides broadband & telephone services in 94 cities. The Enterprise services provide end-to-end telecom solutions to corporate customers and national & international long distance services to carriers. All these services are provided under the Airtel brand. Airtel’s high-speed optic fibre network currently spans over 40,000 kms covering all the major cities in the country. The company has two international landing stations in Chennai that connects two submarine cable systems - i2i to Singapore and SEA-ME-WE-4 to Europe. For more information, visit www.bhartiairtel.in

    About Ericsson:

    Ericsson is shaping the future of Mobile and Broadband Internet communications through its continuous technology leadership. Providing innovative solutions in more than 140 countries, Ericsson is helping to create the most powerful communication companies in the world.

    Read more at: www.ericsson.com.

    About Ericsson's Managed Services Offering:

    Ericsson has the telecom industry's most comprehensive managed services offerings, ranging from designing, building, operating and managing day-to-day operations of a customer's network, to hosting service applications and enablers, as well as providing network coverage and capacity on demand. As the undisputed leader in managed services, Ericsson has officially announced more than 100 managed services contracts with operators worldwide since 2002. In all current managed services contracts, excluding hosting, Ericsson is managing networks that together serve more than 65 million subscribers worldwide.

    About Ericsson softswitch solutions:

    Ericsson is the leading provider of softswitch solutions for both mobile and wireline networks. Ericsson's solutions are commercially proven and fully standards-compliant, offering an efficient and low-risk evolution of existing circuit-switched networks to a telecom-quality, IP-based service platform. They use network resources in the most cost-efficient way to provide both classic telephony and next-generation services. More than 85 fixed and mobile operators worldwide have commercially launched services based on Ericsson's softswitch solutions.