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Bharti Airtel recently announced that it has tied up with LM Ericsson Telephone Company (ERIC - Analyst Report) to deploy the latter’s Intelligent Modernization Network Solution for its prepaid subscribers. As per the agreement, Ericsson’s Network solution will upgrade one of the world’s largest prepaid customer bases, by offering flexible data plans to prepaid customers and real-time control of chargeable services, thereby enhancing customer experience.  

With the help of Ericsson’s Modernization Network solution, customers will be able to customize their data plans across mobile, land line and broadband by shifting to multiple domains such as 2G, 3G, 4G and WI-FI. According to Bharti Airtel management, prepaid customers are demanding more and more flexibility in their packages. Given the large base of prepaid customers, it is obvious that Airtel needs a network solution similar to Ericsson to meet the requirements of its customers.  

Further, Airtel and Ericsson have been working together for approximately two decades now. The tremendous growth in the use of mobiles, particularly smartphones and tablets, has led to a substantial increase in the mobile network traffic. Hence, the requirement of upgrade and modernization into superior technology with high speed and cross bundling is becoming the need of the hour for the telecom companies. 

Recently, Ericsson has been receiving contracts from major telecom operators across the globe for managing their networks as well as for the mobile backhaul network. Similarly, Airtel, also recently announced that it intends to acquire 74% joint venture stake between Airtel and Alcatel Lucent (ALU).        

Ericsson currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) while its competitors such as Aviat Networks (AVNW) and Tellabs Inc. have a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). However, Juniper Networks (JNPR - Analyst Report) has a Zacks Rank #2.

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