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Ericsson takes over more Dutch networks

KPN said Monday it has tapped Ericsson’s Global Services operation to take over maintenance of all its radio access networks in the Netherlands.

The deal includes GSM, UMTS, the Traxys private mobile radio trunking service, and the Semafonie paging system.

Under the deal, some 40 employees will transfer to Ericsson.

The Netherlands has been something of a pioneer in networks outsourcing. Third placed mobile operator Telfort, for example, was one of the first in the world to hand over its entire system to a third party – Ericsson no less – having already outsourced its billing and other back office services.

So has Ericsson, for that matter, being the first of the big vendors to make a pitch for the services business. Ericsson Professional Services accounts for roughly a third of annual profits, and has stimulated competitors to start building their own service operations. Nokia, for example, responded by opening up consulting, design, systems integration and managed services businesses.

Last week, Ericsson also signed a five year contract with Vodafone Netherlands for managed services in the country. As of June 1, Ericsson took over all engineering, implementation and operational activities in Vodafone Netherlands’ multi vendor core and transport network. As a result, 97 Vodafone Netherlands employees will be transferred to Ericsson.

Jaap Postma, General Manager, Network Operations, at KPN, said: “The Netherlands, KPN’s most important market, remains one of the most competitive in Europe. KPN has managed to keep its leading position in all the main segments. We see the transformation of the sector from traditional to new services as a challenge, and will take the lead in developing new customer services as well as maintaining and improving our leading position in the traditional market. This contract enables us to focus on our strategy, while Ericsson guarantees the quality of our access network.”

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