Huawei Technology Co. Ltd. has won an order to supply base stations and other gear to support 4G networks operated by Bharti Airtel Ltd., India’s largest wireless provider, The Economic Times reported Monday, citing an executive of the Chinese company.
The company has won the order to supply equipment for two of the biggest telecom circles in India, but the size of the contract was not disclosed, the paper reported, citing Cai Liqun, chief executive of Huawei’s India operations. A telecom circle refers to each of 23 geographical areas the country has been divided into, and carriers compete in government-run auctions to win services and spectrum licenses to operate in each circle.
India is shaping up to be a strong 4G market in 2015, as a growing base of smartphone users look for better data services and increased access to the Internet on their phones. This has attracted China’s handset makers, notably Xiaomi Inc., Lenovo Group Ltd., and Huawei itself, as well as equipment suppliers.
India may have as many as 15 million 4G connections by the end of 2015, PricewaterhouseCoopers, a consultancy said recently.
Bharti Airtel, which is already offering 4G services in several Indian cities, and rival billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. are expected to ramp up 4G services in 2015, as the latter’s services, under the brand name Reliance Jio, starts rolling out.