How Can Outsourcing Operations Improve Network Performance While Reducing Costs?

Next Generation Communications Blog

How Can Outsourcing Operations Improve Network Performance While Reducing Costs?

By Mae Kowalke

Emerging markets tend to be very attractive to service providers, because they have the potential for significant future growth. There’s also a lot of inherent risk, however, in launching services in unproven markets.

This is one instance where a strategic partnership can alleviate some of the risk. That’s the approach Bharti Airtel took when deploying a new, first-of-its-kind business in India, offering managed broadband services.

In a video case study about the launch of this new business, Bharti Airtel’s director of networks and technology, Joachim Horn, explained the attraction of India and why it made sense to partner with Alcatel-Lucent on this venture.

India, Horn explained, is a very vibrant market; telecom penetration there is still only at about 35 percent. Bharti Airtel has about 110 million customers and is a market leader, so it knew that launching managed services in India could be done viably. But, the company faced stiff competition from many other operators. And, there was also the concern about delivering quality services befitting the company’s brand.

“Our challenge was to continue delivering superior experience to our customers and be able to compete,” Horn said.

Bharti Airtel entered into a joint venture with Alcatel-Lucent, and in the process moved more than 4,000 people into the new business. All of its fixed-line activities for India (broadband, DSL, fiber) went along.

The company had four goals going into this venture. First, don’t drop the ball; deliver services that matched existing quality standards. Second, improve quality of service above existing levels. Third, move the network to the next level by making it more efficient. Four, migrate to the next generation of network technology.

Bharti Airtel handed all key processes over to Alcatel-Lucent, but from Day 1 monitored quality of service continuously. The verdict: no drop in quality, and it’s been climbing ever since.

Working closely with strategic partners, as in this case with Alcatel-Lucent, is a key aspect of Bharti Airtel’s success. And, it’s a two-way street.

“We benefit from the knowledge of our partners, and the partners benefit from our scale,” Horn noted in the video.

In a similar case study that illustrates the difference between a vendor and a partner, Alcatel-Lucent also recently helped Vodafone quickly and efficiently launch a competitive, turnkey mobile solution in Qatar. The opportunity was leveraged successfully thanks to Alcatel-Lucent’s multi-standard, managed services capabilities.

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