To manage telecommunication networks in eastern and southern India

Alcatel-Lucent, the French telecommunications equipment manufacturer, said it had entered into an eight-year $1 billion contract with Reliance Communications (RCom), a part of Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, to manage RCom’s telecommunication networks in eastern and southern India.

The end-to-end network managed services contract is up to 2020. At present, Reliance Communications’ wireless network is managed through a joint venture with Alcatel-Lucent. The joint venture, formed in 2008, will end in June 2013.

Addressing a press conference, Gurdeep Singh, CEO, Wireless Business, Reliance Communications, said, “We had a good experience in the past joint venture and are now entering a contract as it will enable us to take the lead in offering next generation telecom solutions that will meet and exceed the expectations of our customers and help them to transit from voice-led usage to a seamless data experience across multiple devices and platforms.”

Mr. Singh said RCom would soon make a separate announcement for managing its networks in Western and Northern India. Also, as part of the deal, about 4,000 employees would be shifted to Alcatel-Lucent from Reliance Communications, Mr. Singh told reporters here. “The shifting of the 4,000 employees who constitute about 15 per cent of RCom staff, will be done over the next 90 days.”

Rajeev Singh-Molares, President, Asia-Pacific, Alcatel-Lucent, said, “The business association is an extension of our long-standing relationship with RCom and our commitment to India.”

“This is not a scale-up model but has to do with enhancing customer experience in an environment where the customer is becoming increasingly unforgiving,” Mr. Singh said, adding, “the engagement will bring in cost effectiveness and a continuous upgrade of the system so that we can attract and retain high value customers.”

Alcatel-Lucent will enhance RCom’s operations and synergise hitherto independent wireless and wireline teams to form a single network management organisation. Alcatel-Lucent will set up and operate next-generation OSS (Operations support systems) and introduce advanced real-time optimisation tools to improve network performance across RCom’s wireless, wireline, long-distance, fibre and utilities’ functions, according to Mr. Singh.

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