Introduces business model for managing fixed line, broadband networks

Bharti Airtel on Tuesday said that it will acquire the entire equity stake in Alcatel-Lucent Managed Network Service India - a joint venture between Bharti and Alcatel-Lucent India Ltd.

The joint venture was formed in 2009 to manage and deploy the Airtel’s fixed line and broadband network in India.

Airtel said that it was introducing a new business model for managing fixed line and DSL broadband networks, on the lines of Indus Towers.

Inviting other telcos

The venture will operate independent of Bharti and going forward, will invite other operators to join in with equity participation and bring the management of their broadband and fixed line networks under its fold.

Sanjay Kapoor, CEO (India & South Asia) – Bharti Airtel, said, “Bharti pioneered the outsourcing model that helped revolutionise the telecom industry and with this innovative model we are breaking new ground in an industry which is on the cusp of a massive data growth. This new model, along with our recently launched Network Experience Centre, will provide us greater control over the delivery of a world-class data experience to customers across our portfolio of networks.”

Shishir Kumar, CEO (Upper North) – Bharti Airtel, has been appointed as the CEO of the entity. Bharti Airtel provides broadband (DSL), data and telephone services (fixed line) in 87 cities across India with 3.3 million customers of which, 1.4 million subscribe to broadband / Internet services.

Similar joint venture

Alcatel-Lucent had formed a similar joint venture with Reliance Communications for managing mobile networks in 2008. Both the joint ventures were formed with the intention of taking up turn key projects for managing telecom networks of other operators. However, the venture hasn’t had much success.

Market sources said that the move by Airtel to take back control of its network may have been done with the objective to bring other telecom companies into the venture. For example in the case of Indus Towers, Airtel, Vodafone and Idea have come together to leverage the tower business.

Thomas.thomas@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on February 5, 2013)
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