Mumbai: Nokia has reached a 5-year managed services agreement to run Hutchison Essar's network operations in nine of the 13 circles in India, making it the largest network vendor for Hutchison Essar.
Nokia will assume the operation of Hutchison Essar's networks in Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Chennai, Uttar Pradesh (East and West), Rajasthan, Haryana and West Bengal, making 13 circle.
The arrangement would allow the service operator to focus on its customers and core activities.
The agreement, for which documentation is being finalised, requires Nokia to provide an array of solutions including network planning, project management, configuration and optimisation, network operations and maintenance and the administration of third party vendor contract management. Nokia will also absorb over 600 Hutchison Essar staff into its services business unit.
"Nokia's managed service know-how, plus its proven track record in operating and enhancing networks world-wide, were key drivers in helping us make this decision," says Asim Ghosh, managing director, Hutchison Essar Limited. "We are happy to be working with a leader in this area."
The Finnish equipment supplier's managed services business is a key part of its services business unit, and a core part of the company's drive to help operators enhance their service offerings and reduce costs. To date Nokia has 36 managed services contracts in 28 countries, and it expects this figure to grow in the coming years.
Nokia's operations in India include networks and terminals sales divisions, three Research and Development facilities and an upcoming manufacturing facility in Chennai that will produce both terminals and GSM infrastructure equipment.
"We are delighted to extend our cooperation with Hutchison Essar to managed services," said Rajeev Suri, senior vice president, networks, Nokia. "The services business has become increasingly important for Nokia. Our managed services will improve Hutchison Essar''s cost structure and further enhance their service offerings."
The contract strengthens already strong ties between the two companies - Nokia is the supplier of GSM network equipment to nine of Hutchison Essar''s circles
After the acquisition of BPL Mobile Cellular Limited, Hutchison Essar Limited has a subscriber base of about 13 million (source: Cellular Operators Association of India, 31 December 2005), while Nokia claims global leadership in mobile communications.