Ericsson and UAE's du strike long-term managed services deal

Ericsson has signed a long-term agreement to manage the IT infrastructure and applications for the Dubai-based operator du.

According to the deal, announced on Monday, Ericsson will manage du's IT service desk, its data centre operation, the IT application operations for its enterprise support systems and its operation and business support systems, and its user computing and enterprise system management processes.

Nine-year-old du, which has over 8 million customers and serves over 80,000 businesses in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), offers mobile and fixed telephony, broadband and IPTV services.

Ericsson has been working with du since a couple years into the operator's existence. The two signed a three-year managed services contract in 2009, then another five-year deal in 2011.

Chief operations officer Farid Faraidooni said the Ericsson partnership would support the operator's rapid growth. "Ericsson's solutions will enable us to optimise service quality and reduce time to market, while simultaneously becoming more lean and efficient in our operations," he said.

Ericsson said the deal also gives it a role in supporting du's future IT infrastructure projects.

When Ericsson reported a year-on-year sales drop in the first quarter of this year, managed services were a relatively bright spot for the company, with sales remaining stable.

Deals struck in the quarter included one with Polish cable TV provide UPC Poland, and since then Ericsson also signed a four-year agreement with Omantel. The Omantel deal sees Ericsson exclusively manage the Oman operator's network and its customer value management service.

The vendor also announced a new managed services product as part of its lineup of new products at Mobile World Congress (MWC) this year, with an "experience centric" offering designed to use real-time monitoring of network performance to help operators improve streaming and browsing quality.

For more:
- see Ericsson's press release

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