India’s largest mobile operator, Bharti Airtel, has contracted Nokia Networks to build out its FDD-LTE network across six regions.
The rollout is intended to boost Airtel’s coverage and capacity in dense areas and covers base stations, small cells and a network management system, which can monitor and optimise the LTE network running on 1.8GHz.
Airtel has a 23 per cent share of the country’s 947 million mobile connections, according to GSMA India. It also operates in 19 countries in Asia and Africa.
Nokia, already a supplier of Airtel’s TD-LTE network, will also deploy a TD-LTE network running on 2.3GHz in two other regions.
In other news Nokia announced that it has cooperated with South Korea’s SK Telecom (SKT) to commercialise enhanced inter-cell interference coordination (eICIC), a core LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) technology that controls signal interference between macro and micro base stations.
SKT said it has used eICIC in its LTE-A network in the city of Gwangju and has seen a 15 per cent reduction in inter-cell interference. The operator plans to apply eICIC across its entire LTE-A network by the first half of 2016.
The companies said the technology, which will be used in congested areas with a high concentration of macro and micro cells, will be essential in the 5G era when heterogeneous networks become more complex.