Ericsson and Reliance in $1bn outsourcing partnership

Indian operator Reliance Communications has signed an eight-year managed services deal with Swedish vendor Ericsson worth $1bn that will see Ericsson assume responsibility for the operator’s fixed and wireless networks in North and West India. Reliance signed a similar deal with Alcatel Lucent—also believed to be worth $1bn—covering East and South India in January.

This latest deal, announced February 11th, covers 11 of India’s telecom ‘circles’—the geographical regions into which the country’s telecoms market is divided. Reliance will transfer 5,000 employees to Ericsson, which will manage field maintenance, network operations and operational planning for Reliance Communications’ 2G, CDMA and 3G mobile networks.

“This partnership will enable our enterprise customers to deploy state-of-the-art data services on our integrated network… This is one of the first times that wireless and wireline enterprise network is being outsourced to deliver world-class service and performance assurance,” said Punit Garg, CEO, Global and Enterprise Business, Reliance Communications.

Reliance is currently the third largest operator in the Indian market by subscriber numbers, according to Informer’s WCIS Plus service. The operator had 115.9 million subscribers at the end of 2012, down from a peak of 150.1 million in March of the same year.

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