Mavenir Telecom said it expects to sign a contract with Indian telco Vodafone Idea (Vi) for the deployment of its 5G network this year.

The US Open RAN provider made the comments to Live Mint, during this year's Mobile World Congress.

Vodafone Idea
– Getty Images

According to the publication, Mavenir president and chief executive officer Pradeep Kohli said the company expects to land a full commercial deal with the telco.

Mavenir is reportedly carrying out its first pilot of the technology for the telco in Jalandhar, Punjab, to test equipment.

"We have moved all the manufacturing of all the radios to India, from Mexico and Florida," said Kohli.

"They're manufactured by Jabil in India, and I will need six to nine months to scale up. But, we’re prepared to deploy whenever the customer wants."

Vi is still yet to launch its 5G network, and said in January that it will be "another six to seven months before it launches its 5G services in India.

Vi's domestic rivals Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel launched 5G back in 2022, opting for Nokia and Ericsson instead.

5G services were launched by the country's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October 2022.

In January, India's Department of Telecommunications (DoT) sent notices to Vi asking for an explanation as to why it has failed to meet the minimum rollout obligations stipulated on 5G licenses.

Vi could have to pay Rs 14 crore ($1.6m) in fines as a result. Another network operator, Adani Data Networks, was also sent notices.

During the same earnings call, Moondra noted that Vi will switch off its 3G network next year and reallocate the 2,100 MHz spectrum to its 4G network

The company has faced difficulty for some time, with the debt-laden operator struggling to pay its dues with its vendor partners after it was saved from the brink of collapse by the Indian government last year, which acquired a 35.8 percent stake in the company.