PARIS: French telecom equipment giant Alcatel-Lucent and Indian service provider Reliance Communications announced on Wednesday an eight-year deal worth more than $1.0 billion to catapult a big slice of Indian services into next-generation telecom services.
The deal will involve the transfer of 4,000 Reliance staff to Alcatel-Lucent.
The agreement is targeted at satisfying rapid growth of demand for applications and communications services in India which, the companies said in a statement, is one of the most dynamic in the world.
The head of mobile operations at Reliance Communications, Gurdeep Singh, said that the partnership represented a big change in the terms of the classic vision and limited scope of outsourcing services.
The deal meant that his company would be the first to offer new-generation telecoms services which would satisfy, and even exceed, the expectations of clients and would enable them to move up from simple telephone usage to integrated voice and data services across various devices and systems.
Alcatel-Lucent, which has been plagued for years with problems and restructuring since the French Alcatel and US Lucent entities merged, is to manage the Reliance network in the east and south of India.
The two groups said that by 2020, 4,000 people employed by Reliance would be transferred to Alcatel-Lucent.
The two groups work together already but they stressed the special nature of what they termed this first contract for managing complete service provision in India and said that the deal was one of the biggest of its type in the world.
The president at Alcatel-Lucent for activities in the Asia Pacific region, Rajeev Singh-Molares, said that the agreement was an extension of long standing relations between Reliance Communications and of the French company's commitment to India.
The scale of the contract would draw on a wide range of expertise, he said.
In early trading the price of shares in Alcatel-Lucent was showing a gain of 1.92 percent to 1.28 euros in an overall French market which was slightly down. (AFP)