India’s Bharti Airtel has expanded its managed services agreement for its domestic operations with Swedish vendor Ericsson, a press release from the latter has confirmed. Under the new five-year multi-vendor, multi-technology managed services agreement Ericsson will reportedly operate, maintain and provide services across 70% of Airtel’s Indian mobile infrastructure, with Airtel expanding the contract to cover 15 of India’s 22 telecoms circles. The circles covered by the deal are: Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh (West), Uttar Pradesh (East), Rajasthan, North East, Assam, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Chennai and Kerala. Further, as well as offering the ‘standard portfolio of managed services’, Ericsson will also take responsibility for the Intelligent Network that manages Airtel’s pre-paid customer base, while ensuring effective management of operational expenditure and maximising efficiencies of scale. The full suite of managed services will reportedly be rendered through a state of the art Global Network Operation Centre, and field operation activities spread throughout the country.
Commenting on the development, Sanjay Kapoor, CEO of Bharti Airtel’s India and South Asia operations, noted: ‘With India emerging as the third largest internet market and a multi-fold growth in data traffic on the back of a rising number of smartphones, wireless networks need to be ready for the data revolution that has only just begun. This unique multi- technology Managed Services partnership with Ericsson will help us focus on creating a compelling service proposition for our customers, as we look to ramp up our market access for next generation services on 3G and 4G.’