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Reliance taps Ericsson for Indian small cell as-a-service project

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Ericsson is offering small cell as-a-service to Reliance Communications, after signing a deal with the Indian operator.

The Swedish vendor is working with Ozone Networks on the project, using the latter's existing Wi-Fi infrastructure.

Ericsson said the deal, which spans technology, design, planning, building and optimisation of networks, would help Reliance Communication access new markets and tap new revenue streams.

Suresh Rangachar, President & Chief Commercial Officer, Reliance Communications, said: "The surge in mobile connectivity and smartphone uptake has led to immense growth in data usage. This partnership will enable us to meet the ever-growing customer expectations in ultra-dense environments through data offload to a country-wide carrier-grade Wi-Fi network."

Jean-Claude Geha, Head of Managed Services at Ericsson, said: "Together with Ozone India, we are realizing our vision of providing a neutral, shared Wi-Fi infrastructure.

"Ericsson supports our customers' targets of new revenues and subscribers throughout indoor venues and hot spots with the Small Cell as-a-Service model. Ericsson's Small Cell as-a-Service supports all technologies, from MuLTEfire with the Ericsson Dot solution to Cisco's Wi-Fi solution."

Small cells as-a-service has been seen as a means of overcoming the implementation and technology challenges stopping operators from deploying the technology.

Last year, research from ABI said the strategy appears to be bearing fruit. It predicted the small cell market would have a compound annual growth rate of 43 percent between 2015 and 2020, thanks to vendors offering it as a service.

By next year, it predicted China and India will account for more than half of the small cells market alone.