In its third large-scale vendor deal of the year so far, India’s Bharti Airtel has revealed that it has inked a five-year managed services agreement with Sweden’s Ericsson relating to the former’s African operations. According to India’s Economic Times, under the terms of the deal between the two companies Ericsson will ‘manage and optimise Airtel’s mobile networks in Africa in order to provide a superior customer experience.’ The deal, which represents Ericsson’s first multi-country managed services deal in Africa, will reportedly enable Airtel to focus on its core operations of innovating and launching new products, services and mobile applications across the continent.
Alongside the managed services contract, Bharti has also reportedly signed a two-year deal with Ericsson under which the vendor will modernise and upgrade the networks of its African subsidiaries with the latest technology, including its RBS 6000 base station. Further, as part of the modernisation deal Ericsson will provide technology consulting, network planning and design and network deployment.
Commenting on the deals, Manoj Kohli, chief executive officer (International) and joint managing director of Bharti Airtel, noted: ‘Ericsson has been our managed services and network technology partner in [our] Asian operations. Given its expertise and strong track record, we are confident that this partnership will be able to efficiently deliver the best networks and services to our customers in Africa … The new generation equipment from Ericsson will help reduce our total cost of ownership of the networks.’