Mobile Deal

Sept 18, 2007 (LBO) – Bharti Airtel Lanka, a unit of India’s Bharti Airtel Tuesday announced a 150 million dollar alliance with China’s Huawei Technologies Co. to build and manage its mobile network. “We’d like to share infrastructure with other operators. We’d like to maximise the terms of sharing. We believe sharing is the way to go.”

Sanjay Nandrajog, Bharti Airtel’s executive director of international operations and managed services, said the company was also talking to competitor telecom operators on the island to share their transmission towers.

The three-year deal with Chinese vendor Huawei includes telecom applications and software, he told a news conference.

“To enable us to grow in the Sri Lankan market, we felt we needed a partner like Huawei which can supply innovative products at an affordable cost.”

Nandrajog said they hope to launch 2G and 3G services by the first quarter of 2008, starting in the capital Colombo and the big towns of Kandy and Galle.

Bharti, which has 45 million customers in India, was working with its partners Ericson and Nokia to manage its network there.

Nandrajog said that when Bharti outsourced its mobile network in India, the move wa