Nokia Siemens Networks has confirmed its giant new contract to manage the combined network of newly merged mobile telco Vodafone Hutchison Australia will create a number of offshore jobs as well as new roles in Australia.
The deal — revealed yesterday by VHA chief Nigel Dews — will see NSN, which already managed the Vodafone half of VHA’s networks, take over from Ericsson on the Hutchison side and consolidate the two networks. Chinese vendor Huawei had also competed for the work but ultimately lost out to the Finnish team from Nokia.
It is believed to be worth an amount in the hundreds of millions of Australian dollars — but not more than a billion.
NSN Australia and New Zealand chief Kalevi Kostiainen confirmed the arrangement would see about 100 new jobs created in his company in Australia to help provide the services — mainly in the area of network operations, but also in network modernisation. But although Kostiainen said existing jobs weren’t to be ‘pushed’ offshore, some work would also be performed offshore and new jobs created outside Australia.
The executive confirmed that NSN’s delivery model on the deal would see it use its network operations centres in India and Portugal to assist the Australian staff — in line with its standard approach for managed services deals globally.
“It will create original jobs both locally but also in our global network operations centres,” he said, noting the number of jobs created off shore was likely to be smaller than 100.
Kostiainen said the VHA deal was unique because NSN would need to merge two outsourced operations into one as part of the process, while at the same time bringing two core networks together and supporting VHA to rapidly grow its customer base.
He said it would be both a challenge and an opportunity for NSN. “These kinds of transformations are not trivial. It takes a lot of careful planning,” he said. But he said NSN had 240 such managed services deals globally, and it had been planning the VHA arrangement for more than a year as part of the bidding process for the contract.
“We don’t see any reason whatsoever that we cannot do it — but at the same time we take it extremely seriously,” he said.
The bidding process had been “physically and mentally” challenging, Kostiainen said, but it was also extremely rewarding because it had been a great moment for NSN to pick up the deal after some “really really hard work”.
The head of the VHA Customer Team at NSN in Australia is Toby Harris, who also holds the title of head of technology for the local division, accordnig to his LinkedIn profile.