Vodafone Idea expanded a 4G network deal with Huawei shortly before India’s government issued a notice requiring operators to ensure equipment was procured from trusted sources in March, The Economic Times (ET) reported.
The newspaper stated the deal covered additions to existing projects covering 4G network expansion and transport network upgrades. It is valued at between INR4 billion ($54.7 million) and INR4.5 billion, ET reported.
News of the contract comes as India prepares to implement the procurement rules, stepping up efforts to block Chinese vendors from participating in 5G deployments due to national security concerns. The restrictions are expected to come into force on 15 June.
Last month Huawei and rival ZTE were omitted from a list of vendors the government approved to supply equipment for operators’ 5G trials.
The newspaper said Vodafone Idea is Huawei’s largest customer in India, but noted the operator owes the vendor about INR8.5 billion.
Bharti Airtel has shifted some contracts away from Chinese vendors, awarding a RAN contract to Nokia in 2020 worth an estimated $1 billion and later extending a multi-year contract agreement with Ericsson to deploy 5G-ready radio and transport equipment.
Reliance Jio used Samsung for its entire 4G RAN and applied to run 5G trials with the vendor. The operator is also developing its own 4G and 5G network equipment to lower costs and reduce reliance on imports.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back