Aircel, the country's fifth-largest GSM operator with nearly 60 million subscribers, will renew a $100M outsourcing contract with Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) to manage its mobile networks in seven circles, executives aware of the development told ET.
NSN already manages and maintains Aircel's networks in seven circles - Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Punjab, Haryana, West Bengal and Rajasthan - including its 3G networks in three of these regions, while remaining regions are handled by other vendors such as Ericsson and ZTE.
This will be NSN's second outsourcing deal in calendar 2012 after its recent $300M contract from Bharti Airtel.
The Aircel spokesperson did not comment while NSN said it was committed to supporting Aircel in handling operations and maintaining its networks. "Aircel is a valued customer and we remain committed to supporting its endeavour to offer differentiated services in an intensely competitive market," the NSN spokesperson said.
Most Indian telecom companies outsource all key functions, a concept pioneered by Bhart Airtel in 2004.
Malaysian rating agency RAM had recently voiced concern about Maxis-owned Aircel's high debt triggered by the company's substantial investments in network rollouts and purchase of third generation and wireless broadband airwaves.
Source: Economic Times