Telecommunications-equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent today said it had signed a $1-billion contract for management of Reliance Communications Ltd's telecommunications networks for eight years in eastern and southern India.
The development comes at a time when major equipment companies such as Alcatel-Lucent India, are faced with challenges due to local telecom operators holding back investment.
The Indian telecom market is one of the largest in the world, with the number of telecom subscribers second only to China's, but local telecom operators are facing regulatory uncertainty and, for about a year, slowing subscriber additions.
Reliance Communications, with 130 million subcribers, is part of Anil Ambani-controlled Reliance Group, and is India's second-largest mobile company .
In a joint statement, the companies said, Reliance Communications would outsource network management for both its wireless and fixed-line operations to Alcatel-Lucent.
The deal would see around 4,000 employees shift to Alcatel-Lucent from Reliance Communications, Gurdeep Singh, chief executive of Reliance Communications' wireless business, told reporters in Mumbai.