VimpelCom transfers 1,300 staff to Huawei

Russian operator VimpelCom will transfer 1,300 staff to Chinese infrastructure vendor Huawei, as part of a five-year managed services deal.

Huawei will take complete responsibility for the multi-vendor, multi-technology fixed and mobile networks, which cover the Volga region of Russia and the Far East. The Chinese firm will provide end-to-end network management, including multi-vendor operations and maintenance, field operations, 24/7 network assurance and spare parts management.

VimpelCom said the deal will enable it to offer better network and service quality to its customers while also reducing operating expenses. Managed services deals tend to be struck on a regional basis in Russia, with operators offering joint tenders to vendors.

“The business-model of transferring network operation and exploitation to a third party is a common global trend today and we are glad that we are leading the Russian market in this sphere,” said Anton Kudryashov, head of the Russia business unit and general director at VimpelCom.

“We are certain that this large-scale cooperation with Huawei will strengthen our position and help us to achieve our targets.”

Huawei has signed similar contracts this year in the UK, Switzerland, Indonesia, and Singapore. The firm claims it has won more than 240 managed services contracts in over 60 countries around the world to date.

However, it has recently come across stumbling blocks in the growth of its international business, after having been excluded from the bidding process to build Australia’s national broadband network, due to fears over the security of sensitive information.

In addition, the firm and domestic rival ZTE last week protested charges that the network equipment they have installed in the US has been sending sensitive information back to Chinese authorities. At a hearing with US legislators, the two firms agreed to submit lists of their Communist Party committee members, according to the BBC.

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