New Delhi: Telecom firm Ericsson will manage Bharti Airtel Ltd’s mobile phone network in Africa for five years for an undisclosed sum.
As part of their agreement, Ericsson will upgrade the Indian company’s Africa network over two years using second-generation (2G) and third-generation (3G) technology, and also provide technology consulting, network planning and design and network development.
This is Ericsson’s first multi-country deal for service management in Africa, and will impact more than 44 million customers.
“This deal will allow us to assist Airtel with the complex task of managing operations in multiple countries,” Ericsson president and chief executive Hans Vestberg said. “It also provides an opportunity for us to extend our managed services into new, untapped African markets.”
In June last year, Airtel acquired Kuwait-based Zain’s assets in 16 African countries for almost $11 billion.
Aritel this month extended its partnership with International Business Machines (IBM), signing a 10-year contract for providing information technology solutions in Africa.
Last month, it had awarded a $400 million equipment order to a Chinese telecom vendor, Huawei, for modernising and expanding its 2G and 3G network in Africa.