Bharti Airtel has awarded a telecom infrastructure expansion contract worth around Rs300 crore to embattled Chinese gear major Huawei , multiple people aware of the development said. “This is kind of a deal which is considered massive in this space. Airtel has already issued a procurement order (PO) to Huawei,” a senior executive working with Huawei’s rival company told ET. “…the value of this deal is a major part of Airtel’s overall capex budget for non-radio network.” The deal is part of an ongoing Airtel process to find replacements for its National Long Distance (NLD) network which is currently run by Huawei. NLD optical transport network is considered to be crucial as it carries inter-circle and international traffic and helps manage the network capacity. It also carries internet traffic and traffic from main landing stations. Huawei and Airtel didn't respond to ET's emailed queries. The contract comes as a respite for the Chinese company which is facing huge uncertainty over its continued involvement in the Indian telecom market, especially its participation in the upcoming 5G network deployments in the country, due to allegations of its involvement in cyber-snooping on behalf of the Chinese state. Huawei has denied any wrongdoing. The… Read full this story
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