With the completion of the 3G spectrum auctions, telecom service players are adapting to multi-vendor (telecom equipment vendors) strategy which would mean that a particular vendor would upgrade the existing 2G networks set up by another vendor to 3G and provide managed services for these networks post the roll-out.
While this trend is catching up with most service players who managed to win 3G licences, it is believed that the countrys second largest player Vodafone is already in talks with Ericsson for the same. If Ericsson gets through the deal, it would mean that the Swedish player will enhance the existing 2G network of Vodafone set up by Nokia Seimens Networks (NSN), in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Uttap Pradesh (east) and West Bengal. The 2G network in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata are set up by Ericsson itself. According to sources, negotiations between Vodafone and Ericsson are on, and these talks are based on commercial aspects and performance capability of the provider. The capacity increase of the base transceiver station (BTS) and performance parameters like data speed, voice and picture synchronisation, amongst other applications, determine the size of the contract, source said.
Vodafone declined to comment and Ericsson responded saying it cannot comment on speculations.
Vodafone is paying about Rs 11,600 crore for the nine circles it has won in the 3G auction. Telecom equipment providers view 3G as a bigger opportunity, irrespective of the irrational 3G bidding by the services providers. Under the multi-vendor strategy, which is widely adopted across the globe, telecom equipment providers like Ericsson, NSN, ZTE, Motorola and Alcatel-lucent could see another round of stiff competition in India.