VimpelCom signs Ericsson’s first managed services contract in Russia

Russian operator VimpelCom has signed a five-year managed services contract with Ericsson. The Swedish vendor’s first major managed services contract in the country sees it managing Vimpelcom’s network operations at more than 10,000 Russian sites.

In addition Ericsson will perform field maintenance for network components of the operator’s mobile, fixed and transport networks, and oversee more than 10,000km of optical transport cables and an extensive fixed network across Siberia and the Urals in Russia.

400 VimpelCom employees spread over 41 locations across Siberia and the Urals will also be transferred to Ericsson in April 2013.

The agreement is part of VimpelCom’s long-term plan to increase operating efficiency, according to Anton Kudryashov, general director at VimpelCom. He added that the transfer of network maintenance and support to Ericsson will allow the operator to more effectively optimise costs and network management.

“Similar projects have already become standard practice in the world, and we are actively supporting this trend, as we see the effectiveness of this model with examples of global operators,” he said. “We are confident that the knowledge and experience of Ericsson in the extended network service and support, will allow us to maximise our focus on business development, improve the quality of services for our customers and provide additional quality services.

In June last year, Russian operator MTS told how it began the outsourcing trend in Russia.

“MTS was the first operator to outsource operation and maintenance services in Russia. We started with our deployment in one of Russia’s eight regions as a pilot and the biggest problem we had to address was that, in Russia, there was no market for outsourcing,” said Andrei Ushatskiy, MTS’ VP and CTO.

“But after we started this project our competitors joined in. This benefits everybody because MTS and VimpelCom were able to offer a joint tender to one vendor—in this case Nokia Siemens Networks—for operations outsourcing in this one region.”

He added that this was a useful strategy for Russia where there are long distances between towns and different regions. It makes sense for operators to outsource operations in one geographic region, he said, as it allows them to increase their efficiency.

Earlier this week Ericsson unveiled its Experience Centric Managed Services model. The model is designed to tie managed service SLAs to customer experience KPIs as well as traditional network performance.

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