India’s Ozone Networks has selected Ericsson’s small-cell-as-a-service offering to build out its WiFi network across the country.

The five-year deal covers the supply and management of 30,000 carrier-grade WiFi access points. Ericsson said its small-cell offering gives Ozone the opportunity to generate revenue from its WiFi network by allowing mobile operators to offload traffic onto its network.

Ozone CEO Sanjeev Sarin (pictured) said the partnership with Ericsson will allow it to establish a neutral WiFi model in India, which “will help the government make the right to internet access a reality for every Indian”.

Launched at Mobile World Congress in February, the small-cell-as-a-service model covers the supply of small-cell equipment, network design, build-out, optimisation and management.

Nick Marshall, mobile networks research director at ABI Research, said the model will simplify many of the current backhaul challenges, which have slowed the roll out of small cells in the past.

Ozone currently has WiFi hotspots in more than ten cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Agra, Cochin and Bangalore.