Telecom operator Bharti Airtel will have European vendors Nokia and Ericsson to handle its 4G voice call service across India, a senior official said while ruling out the possibility of roping in Chinese telecom gear maker Huawei.
“We have two-vendor strategy. We have Nokia as one vendor. Now, Ericsson has come in as second vendor. When there is growth, we give it to other vendors. As and when our VoLTE traffic picks up, we will be giving expansion order to both the customers,” Bharti Airtel Chief Technology Officer Randeep Sekhon told reporters.
He ruled out any possibility of including Huawei in the 4G calling service network.
“Huawei is there in core network (of Airtel). There is no point bringing three (vendors for 4G calling service),” Sekhon said.
He said Ericsson has just been given contract and it has started deploying telecom network solutions and ensuring that experience of customers across network is same as that being delivered by Nokia.
“They will put service equivalency. Once they achieve service equivalency, we will put commercial traffic on it. VoLTE (voice over LTE, or 4G) handling is different. Call set-up rate will be higher in VoLTE,” Sekhon said.
When asked about the status of 5G readiness of Airtel, Sekhon said the company has applied for all the 4-5 towns where the government has proposed to start the trials and the company is waiting for allotment of spectrum to start the trials.