It is a contract renewal, but the scope has been expanded under the new terms, said a person in the know. Vodafone India has given the managed services mandate to Nokia for 14 circles and a field operations contract for the remaining eight of the country’s 22 telecom zones.
“It’s not only the radio, but core part as well … it has much more scope than earlier,” the person told ET.
Nokia and Vodafone India didn’t respond until press time Wednesday to emails seeking comment.
Overall services, which comprise managed services, after sales maintenance, filed operations, which includes manual maintenance work, and system integration, is a very substantial component for Nokia’s business in India. The company also provides managed services to Idea Cellular in certain telecom circles.
Vodafone’s latest contract follows a recent three-year managed services deal worth $180-$220 million (Rs 1,200-1,470 crore) which the telco awarded to Chinese gear maker Huawei. Under this, Huawei is providing managed services, including network operations, to Vodafone in Kerala, Tamil Nadu & Chennai and Odisha circles. It is also offering network operations in Andhra Pradesh and Delhi, where Nokia is already providing a part of managed services to Vodafone.
READ MORE: Huawei bags $180-$220 mn managed services, network operations deal from Vodafone India
In February, the country’s second largest telecom carrier by users had awarded a three-year contract to Ericsson to manage optical fibre networks in 10 telecom circles.
READ MORE: Ericsson bags Vodafone contract for managing optical fiber cable network in 10 telecom circles
In a recent interaction with ET, Nokia India’s newly appointed country head Sanjay Malik said the equipment maker managed around 200,000 base stations and a very large number of subscribers across India.
Besides mobility managed services, Nokia India is now expanding into adjacent areas for managed services, including enterprise managed services and IT managed services, according to Malik.
Nokia, which claimed to have bagged 120 deals in 2016, also lost some business in the managed service space. Nokia, which served Bharti Airtel in eight circles, was replaced by Ericsson whose contract was extended to all the circles by the top telecom carrier last year under a contract worth up to $500 million (Rs 3,350 crore) for its 2G, 3G, 4G LTE networks.
READ MORE: Ericsson bags $500 million pan-India managed services deal from Bharti Airtel
The Finnish gear maker recently claimed leadership in India’s LTE (4G) market on the basis of all deals that concluded before and after the spectrum auction. “We are number one in terms of circles and number of base stations which are going to be rolled out. Our market share in 4G has been higher than 3G and 3G market share was higher than 2G. Similarly, we are number one in VoLTE solution, with a significant lead. It’s almost 100% market share,” Malik had said in a recent interaction.
READ FULL INTERVIEW: Nokia is now India’s top 4G LTE network vendor: India head Sanjay Malik