Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCom) today awarded over USD 1 billion (around Rs 5,481 crore) contract to telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent for enhancing its telecom network in Eastern and Southern India till 2020.
The partnership with Alcatel-Lucent will "enable RCom to take the lead in offering next generation telecom solutions", RCom Chief Executive Officer for Wireless Business Gurdeep Singh said in a joint statement with Alcatel-Lucent.
"The contract extends RCom's existing relationship with Alcatel-Lucent for over USD 1 billion and will deliver seamless voice and data communications services to its customers," the statement said.
"This business association is an extension of our long-standing relationship with Reliance Communications, and our commitment to India," Alcatel-Lucent President for Asia-Pacific, Rajeev Singh-Molares said.
The agreement is the first for converged wireless and fixed-line contract in India, and one of only a handful in the world, it added.
"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," RCom's Chief Executive Officer for Global and Enterprise Business, Punit Garg said.
Under the agreement, Alcatel-Lucent will set up and operate next-generation operations support systems and introduce real-time optimisation tools to improve network performance across Reliance's wireless, wireline, long-distance, fiber and utilities' functions, the statement said.
RCom has pan-India telecom network covering over 24,000 towns and 600,000 villages. The company claims to have over 277,000 km of fibre optic cable systems in India, US, Europe, Middle East and the Asia Pacific region.
"During, the 2008 contract between ALU and RCOM, 3000 employees migrated to ALU for managing RCOMs pan India wireless network. Now the contract is for South and East India with a greater scope. 4000 employees will move to ALU from RCOM... At the end of the transition there would be a potential net addition of 1000 employees," Alcatel-Lucent said.
Reliance Communications awards over Rs 5,400 cr contract to Alcatel-Lucent
Franco-American telecoms equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent SA has won an eight-year deal valued at more than $1 billion to manage Indian carrier Reliance Communications Ltd's networks in the east and south of the country.
The network outsourcing contract will cut costs for India's No. 3 carrier, where 4,000 - or about 15 percent - of its employees will move to Alcatel-Lucent as part of the deal, Gurdeep Singh, Chief Executive of Reliance Communications' wireless business, told reporters on Wednesday.
Most leading Indian telecommunication carriers have outsourced the management of their networks to firms including Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks and Chinese firms Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp as they try to lower their costs.
Alcatel and Reliance Communications formed in 2008 a joint venture which was managing the Indian firm's network in a five-year, $750 million deal. That joint venture will end after the award of the new contract, Singh said.
The new contract covers management of mobile, fixed-line and corporate networks, Reliance Communications said.
Reliance Communications, controlled by billionaire Anil Ambani, had 134 million Indian mobile phone customers as of November, according to data from the sector regulator, ranking third in a market of nearly 900 million mobile users.
The deal is also a boost for loss-making Alcatel-Lucent, which has been hit by competition from low-cost Chinese rivals and lower spending on network gear by global telecoms operators.