Manish Seth (left), president and MD of Alcatel-Lucent, and Gurdeep Singh, R-Com CEO (wireless business), in Mumbai on Wednesday. (PTI)
Mumbai, Jan. 16: Alcatel-Lucent, the Franco-American communications equipment maker, has bagged a $1-billion deal from Reliance Communications Ltd (R-Com) to manage the latter’s network in eastern and southern India.
The end-to-end network managed services contract, which will last till 2020, is expected to bring down costs at the flagship company of the Anil D. Ambani group.
Other telecom companies in India have also outsourced the management of their networks. For instance, Idea Cellular entered into a three-year agreement last year with Ericsson to provide managed services in its five telecom circles. Similarly, Bharti Airtel has a managed services pact with Nokia Siemens Networks.
As part of the agreement between the companies, Alcatel-Lucent will support both the wireless and the fixed line operations of R-Com. According to R-Com, this is the first converged wireless/fixed-line contract in India and one of only a handful in the world.
Alcatel-Lucent will streamline the company’s operations, bringing together previously independent wireless and fixed-line teams to form a single network management organisation. It will also drive standardisation of the tools, processes and best practices at R-Com.
The overseas company will also be responsible for network performance and service quality, with the goal of increasing customer satisfaction and retention, R-Com said in a press statement.
R-Com added that it would also work closely with Alcatel-Lucent to identify opportunities to introduce services and expand existing businesses to realise the full potential of its network.
Today’s contract will extend R-Com’s existing relationship with Alcatel-Lucent. Both had earlier entered into a joint venture in 2008 in which the Anil Ambani company held a 33 per cent equity stake. However, it was limited to wireless services only.
“This (partnership) will enable Reliance Communications to take the lead in offering next generation telecom solutions that will meet and exceed the expectations of our customers, and help them to transit from voice-led use to a seamless data experience across multiple devices and platforms,” said Gurdeep Singh, R-Com’s chief executive officer (wireless business).
R-Com added that the strategic agreement would enable it to assure high quality and consistent experience for customers regardless of the device or type of connection.