Bharti Televentures has signed an agreement for $250 million with global telecom equipment major Ericsson under which Bharti will outsource network and service management of some of the telecom circles to Ericsson.
The deal is in line with Bharti's strategy of handing over network management and support to large equipment and service companies to focus more on marketing.
Ericsson will provide the technology and managed services to enable Bharti to expand into around 3,000 towns and villages in 15 regions. The rollout of the first phase of this ongoing coverage expansion into rural India will start in July 2005.
Bharti's Manoj Kohli, president, mobility, expects the arrangement to enable the service provider to speed up its entry into rural telephony."
Ericsson will deliver and manage network capacity for Bhartit, leaving the service provider free to focus on customers and business development. For Bharti, the arrangement will allow it to offer services with minimised payback time in rural areas with low average revenue per user. Moreover, the arrangement will optimise Bharti's capital and operational expenditures and ensure minimal total cost of ownership for network.
Ericsson is a long-term Bharti partner, operating its GSM / GPRS network in 15 out of 23 regions under a managed capacity agreement, and is the sole supplier of Bharti's mobility intelligent network, WAP, MMS, video streaming and automatic device configuration.
Ericsson also provides fixed broadband solutions and fixed-line switching equipment for Bharti's Infotel.