Ciena bags major network deals from Reliance Jio, Airtel


Core Member
Ciena has won major multi-million dollar contracts from Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio and Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel for new network technology deployments in the country.

The US-based telecom gear maker is deploying Transport SDN architecture for Jio, and coherent optical and intelligent software platforms for Bharti Airtel to build one of the world’s Largest Photonic Control Plane networks in India.

“Both are large multi-year projects and are ongoing. These are multi-hundred million dollar contracts for Ciena in India,” a person on the condition of anonymity, told ET. The person added that both Jio and Airtel deployments started in the second half of 2018.

Ciena technology deployment will help Jio build an adaptive network that can scale and dynamically adapt to fast-changing capacity requirements and application demands. The new deployment will offer Jio flexibility in launching new services, especially in the enterprise and fixed wireless segments.

“The addition of automation capabilities is a significant step in our network transformation journey to an Adaptive Network that will enable higher levels of scale and network intelligence, catering to our customer’s evolving digital lifestyles,” Jyotindra Thacker, President, Technology & Procurement, Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, Jio said in a statement.

Deployment at Bharti Airtel, on the other hand, is aimed at building a scalable optical backbone. “This is a major and even an advanced step by Airtel compared to Jio in India. The move will help Airtel significantly reduce the cost of providing connectivity in non-major circles,” the person said, adding that the telco is going rural aggressively.

Airtel’s new backbone architecture will create a solid foundation that can cut across technology 3G, 4G and 5G to seamlessly work with data rates of 400Gbps and higher to create a future proof scalable network.

Randeep Sekhon, CTO – Bharti Airtel, in a statement, said that the deployment is a big step towards 5G readiness by leveraging our huge fiber assets. This will not only scale the network for massive capacity but also protect traffic and enhance service delivery to all our customers.

In a statement, Ryan Perera, Vice President and General Manager, Ciena India said that the company will continue to collaborate with Jio on self-configuring and self-optimizing network that leverages automation guided by analytics and intent-based policies.