Partnering vs signing deals

From an Ericsson, Nokia or IBM’s perspective, this is a fantastic way to commercially partner with customers than just sign multi-million dollar deals.
With the $ spent coming under pressure due to macro economic considerations, this would be a interesting way for service providers to increase their customer base.


“In keeping with that underlying philosophy, Bharti Airtel in 2003 signed outsourcing contracts with telecom vendors Telefon AB LM Ericsson and Nokia Oyj as also computer and software service provider International Business Machines Corp., or IBM.

The contracts, which transferred the costs of phone and computer networks to these firms, focused on cutting down costs while at the same time throwing in incentives for better utilization of the infrastructure.Ericsson and Nokia would get a base payment that would be linked to the voice traffic carried by the base stations and exchanges which are the core of a phone network, and would be a paid a pay-per-use incremental charge on that. “This way, there was both an incentive to perform better and a disincentive (that helps) to keep costs down,” chairman Mittal told Mint last year, reviewing the outsourcing deal for Mint. Besides, he had said, “there was no way we would have been able to add 20,000 towers a year (in fiscal 2007) if (we) were doing it ourself”.

An almost similar deal was forged with IBM, which received payments as a percentage of Bharti Airtel’s revenues. The arrangement, according to insiders, has sparkled for IBM — netting it revenues of some $2 billion to date. “Bharti is the most convincing case study (Sam Palmisano) can present to the world,” Mittal said earlier last year, referring to IBM’s chief executive. The vendor has since signed similar deals with India’s Idea Cellular Ltd and Vodafone Essar.”