28 January 2017 Current Affairs: Vodafone has given a contract worth up to $500 million (Rs 3,650 crore) to Nokia for 4G network deployment and expansion, covering 10 of the country's 22 telecom zones .
Nokia is deploying and expanding 4G LTE network for Vodafone India in Kolkata, Mumbai, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu-Chennai, Haryana, UP East, West Bengal, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir, one of the people told ET.
Nokia and Vodafone India didn't respond until press time Thursday to emails seeking comment. Chinese equipment vendor Huawei is supplying 4G base stations and other equipment for Vodafone's networks in Karnataka, Kerala and Delhi circles, ET had earlier reported.
By giving this contract, the UK based telecom major's India unit is expediting its network expansion and ramping up capacities to counter the threat from bigger rival Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio, the new 4G player which is currently offering free services, industry watchers say.
Vodafone India has already launched 4G services in 17 circles as had planned, and is now rapidly expanding 4G footprint within these circles.
These 17 circles cover 91% of Vodafone India's total revenue and 95% of mobile data revenue. The telco aims to make the service available in 2,400 towns by March 2017.
Vodafone India, which commenced operations in 2007, has operations across the country serving over 200 mn customers, including over 106 mn in rural areas.
The company had previously given a three-year managed services and network operations deal worth $180-220million to Chinese gear maker Huawei.
Nokia has had a successful run so far in the country's 4G market, having already pocketed a 4G deployment and expansion contract worth $500 million from Bharti Airtel