Russia's VimpelCom has become the latest network operator to decide that network operations are a good thing to outsource, and they've brought in Ericsson to do the job in a five year deal.
Ericsson will take on some 400 of VimpelCom's employees as it takes over the operations, maintenance, and support of both wireless and wireline assets. Those include some 10K base stations in 41 cities, 10,000km of fiber network, and fixed network assets across the Urals and Siberia. Winter in Siberia -- good time to start with a few truck rolls, you betcha.
When Ericsson started offering outsourced network operations to carriers, I must admit I didn't think they'd get that far with it. These multi-year, often billion-dollar deals with big international carriers do add up quickly. Just last week they added half of Reliance's Indian network assets to their to-do list, and of course there was that big Sprint deal a few years back and many others since then.