Taking forwards its data-centric strategy, Reliance Communications has awarded a $1 billion, eight-year contract to Alcatel-Lucent to manage its entire portfolio of fixed line, wireless, enterprise, voice and data services across multiple devices and platforms in the southern and eastern regions.
Gurdeep Singh. chief executive officer, wireless business, RCom, said, “This move is a part of our transformation from voice to data, and we believe that having just two vendors for data solutions, as opposed to over a hundred vendors managing different parts of the data network earlier, will aid in a more seamless data browsing experience for our customers.”
With this, an earlier five-year JV between the two companies for pan-India wireless solutions that was coming to an end this April has been scrapped.
RCom would announce another vendor to manage the rest of its India operations in a couple of months.
The deal that will entail huge savings to RCom, will see the telco’s 4,000 employees moving to the new Alcatel-Lucent-RCom synergised unit over the next 90 days, while Alcatel will also add 1,000 headcount, including global experts, to manage the portfolio.
“This is first time that national long distance network and access network (enterprise) is being outsourced to deliver world-class service delivery and assurance performance,” said Punit Garg, CEO, global and enterprise business, RCom.
For loss-making Alcatel-Lucent, too, this is a major gain.
Munish Seth, president and managing director, Alcatel-Lucent India, said, “While we manage Bharti’s pan-India fixed line network and Uninor’s wireless network, RCom’s deal is the largest contract closed with an Indian telco. This will no doubt help increase our revenue cap, as well as our visibility as a vendor capable of handling the entire managed services portfolio suite of an operator. This is in line with our global strategy for transformational projects.”