Nokia to provide LTE network to Airtel-Vodafone amid exec changes

Airtel-Vodafone, the partnership between Bharti Airtel and Vodafone in the Channel Islands, has confirmed Nokia Networks as its LTE network provider to bring 4G to Jersey and Guernsey. Nokia will be its exclusive partner, providing all equipment and service expertise for the installation of 4G.

The news comes as the operator begins multi-million pound investment into upgrading the Islands’ mobile infrastructure. Ian Campbell, Airtel-Vodafone’s CEO, sees the competitive advantage it could gain over incumbents Jersey Telecom and Sure as the primary motivator for choosing Nokia. “Our 4G network will bring a level of speed and accessibility that will transform the way Islanders access the internet, and it is vital that we have the very best infrastructure possible,” he said.

He went on to make the additional obligatory comments on why Nokia was the outstanding candidate for its contract. “Nokia Networks is a top-end European supplier and has extensive experience in implementing similar deployments with leading operators across the globe. We chose this vendor because we know that it has the reliability and level of expertise needed to execute this project in line with our expectations.”

The 4G service is scheduled to go live in early 2015. No specific mobile broadband speeds were announced, and neither party was available to comment at the time of writing.

Meanwhile, Nokia has been busy with some internal reorganisation of its management team. Ashish Chowdhary is currently EVP for Asia, Middle East & Africa, and will be relocated to Nokia’s headquarters in Espoo, Finland, at the start of 2015 as Nokia’s Chief Business Officer. In his new role, Chowdhary will oversee Nokia’s global customer facing organisations.

Igor Leprince, who is currently SVP and Head of Middle East and Africa, will join Chowdhary at Nokia HQ, starting today, as EVP of Global Services. The Global Services business unit provides mobile operators with a broad range of services, from network implementation to care services, managed services for network and service operations, network planning and optimization and systems integration.

In what has been a busy few months for the vendor, Nokia’s Q3 financial results released late last month reported a 13% year-on-year growth in net sales for Nokia Networks, from €2.6 billion in Q3 2013 to €2.9 billion in Q3 this year.

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