Huawei Bags Huge Deal From Vodafone India

by CXOtoday News Desk    Oct 17, 2016


The Chinese device maker Huawei has bagged a managed services and network operations contract worth around USD 180-220 million from Vodafone India for a total of five circles, for the next 3 years. The contract for providing managed services to Vodafone India was previously held by Nokia, who will also continue to partially provide services to the telco.

As per the agreement, Huawei will offer managed services, including network operations, to Vodafone in Kerala, Tamil Nadu & Chennai and Odisha circles.  Along with network operations in Andhra Pradesh and Delhi, where Nokia will continue to provide a part of managed services to Vodafone, according to ET report. (read it here)

The new contract follows a recent big-ticket deal that Huawei got from India’s leading telco Bharti Airtel for the upgradation of wireline network with vectoring, GPON and G.Fast technologies, which helped the carrier in launching100 Mbps broadband services in 87 cities.

Huawei has lately been making inroads into the country’s telecom managed services segment, which has been led by Sweden’s Ericsson and Nokia so far. The Shenzhen-based company had last year had won managed services and network modernization deal for six circles worth Rs 1200 crore from Norway-based Telenor’s India unit, and is already managing four telecom circles for smaller GSM telco Aircel.

 Huawei and Vodafone Partnership

Earlier Huawei and Vodafone have completed a 5G millimetre-wave field test at Vodafone’s Emerald House location in Newbury, UK. The test covers SU-MIMO (Single User Multiple Input Multiple Output) with a strong reflection path to reach 20Gbps UE peak rate, and MU-MIMO (Multi User Multiple Input Multiple Output) for long-range UE to reach 10Gbps peak rate.

It is claimed as the world’s first 5G outdoor field test at E-Band (70 – 80GHz) reaching 20Gbps peak rate for a single user device with high spectrum efficiency. This peak user rate is targeted by ITU-R as a 5G requirement. This is a key milestone after the two companies signed a co-operation agreement on 5G technologies in 2015 and a 5G Acceleration memo of understanding in July 2016.

In the recent agreement the third-party employees working with the existing vendor will now move to Huawei, along with some of Vodafone and Huawei’s on-roll employees. “Overall, there will be around 1000 employees, third party and on rolls employees included,” said the report.

Vodafone had 200.1 million subscribers in the country with 25.63% market share in August, as per data shared by Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).

A Vodafone spokesperson said that the company works with several infrastructure providers across the country, but declined to comment on the specific Huawei partnership. For example, in February this year, Vodafone had awarded a three-year contract to Ericsson to manage its optical fibre cable networksin 10 circles in East and West India, spanning a distance of roughly 45,000 kms.

Huawei is already supplying LTE base stations and other equipment for Vodafone’s 4G networks in Karnataka and Kerala circles, besides expanding the telco’s 3G network in these two circles.

Over the last 12 months, Huawei has also won 4G deals from Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular. The gear maker has deployed 4G LTE network for Airtel in Delhi, along with Karnataka and Tamil Nadu service areas, which are the telco’s biggest telecom circles in the country. Not only that Huawei to manufacture smartphones in India in collaboration with Sketch-to-Scale solutions provider, Flex, in October. 

It is also supplying base stations and other equipment for the Aditya Birla group-owned Idea’s 4G networks in Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Orissa circles.