Ericsson Completes World's Largest Live Network Upgrade for Vodafone Essar in Record Time

(PresseBox) ( Düsseldorf, )
Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) has completed the world's largest upgrade of a live mobile network, and done it at a record pace. To improve quality of service for more than 13 million Vodafone Essar subscribers in India's four key zones including three large metro cities, Ericsson replaced more than 10,500 of the operator's GSM radio sites, reaching a peak rate of one site every minute.

The network modernization project began in February 2008 and ended first quarter 2009, two months ahead of schedule. During this time, Ericsson delivered more than 16,000 base station cabinets and more than 250 base station controllers, completing the project in only 13 months. As part of the agreement, Ericsson also provided an expansion of the layered architecture circuit core including mobile packet back bone (MPBN) and microwave transmission equipment.

For Vodafone Essar, this means improved network performance, with state of the art equipment and functionalities.

Throughout the project Vodafone maintained uninterrupted network services in the cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, as well as the Punjab region.

Acknowledging the milestone, Naresh Gupta, Technical Director at Vodafone Essar, says: "Swapping a commercially live network with near zero service deterioration is a very demanding task. I am pleased that Ericsson managed to undertake and complete such a challenging project in record time."

Gowton Achaibar, President of Ericsson India and Sri Lanka, says: "This record-breaking network modernization project demonstrates Ericsson's end-to-end capacity and expertise in carrying out large and complex projects. It was made possible by our highly competent and dedicated team."

Being the number one in telecom services and with a services organization covering more than 175 countries, Ericsson Global Services has the scale and skill to deliver large and complex projects, providing both local market expertise and global experience.

About Vodafone Essar Ltd

Vodafone Essar, the Indian subsidiary of Vodafone Group, commenced operations in 1994 when its predecessor, Hutchison Telecom, acquired the cellular license for Mumbai. The company now has operations across the country with more than 74.08 million customers**. Vodafone Group is the world's leading international mobile communications corporation. It currently has equity interests in 31 countries across five continents and 40 partner networks with more than 303 million proportionate customers worldwide. The Essar Group is Vodafone's principal partner in India. The Essar Group is a diversified business corporation with a balanced portfolio of assets in the manufacturing and services sectors including steel, energy, power, communications, shipping ports and logistics, and projects. Essar employs more than 50,000 people in offices across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

**Figures from Cellular Operators Association of India, May 31, 2009
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