June 30, 2015 / 12:48 PM / 4 years ago

Nokia signs 3G deal with Bharti Airtel to cover big Indian states

A worker talks on his mobile at the Nokia plant in Jucu village, near Cluj, 450 km (180 miles) northwest of Bucharest, January 23, 2008. REUTERS/Mihai Barbu/Files

MUMBAI/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Network equipment maker Nokia has signed up India’s largest mobile operator Bharti Airtel to supply it with 3G wireless network gear covering some of the most populous regions in India, the Finnish company said on Tuesday.

Nokia Networks said it will supply radio antennas, hardware, software and network management and planning services for five large areas of India, as well as network expansion in three sub-regions where the two companies had existing contracts, or eight out of India’s 22 telecom sub-regions.

Financial terms were not disclosed. However, A Nokia spokeswoman confirmed the expanded supply deals include equipment to run networks in three of India’s four most populous states, which include major cities Mumbai and Kolkata.

The Asia-Pacific region outside China represented one-third of Nokia’s Network worldwide business sales of 2.67 billion euros ($3 billion) during the first quarter of 2015, making it the largest contributor to the company’s results.

India has been Nokia’s best performing market in terms of sales in recent quarters, offsetting weakness in North America, Europe, Japan, some parts of Southeast Asia, as well as China, which while growing quickly, has undercut profit margins.

In April, Nokia announced a 15.6 billion-euro takeover of Alcatel Lucent, a combination that will create the world’s second-largest mobile network gear supplier behind Ericsson of Sweden.

($1 = 0.8945 euros)

Reporting by Aman Shah in Mumbai and Eric Auchard in Frankfurt, editing by Louise Heavens

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