Telefónica's O2 UK awarded Huawei a five-year deal to plan and manage the operator's mobile core network. The contract will see over 50 O2 employees and 62 contractors transfer over to Huawei.
The deal is the first managed services contract that Huawei has secured in the UK and is not, according to the company, linked to the sale of any network infrastructure. Commenting on the agreement, a Huawei spokesperson told Mobile Europe, "The team that's transferring is much more about the monitoring and planning and design of the core network, rather than operations."
"For us this is about building our capability as a managed service business in the U.K. People assume that we would win this deal in a network or part of the network where we have kit deployed, but we have no kit in this network," the spokesperson said.
While neither company revealed the value of the contract, a Telefónica spokesperson told Mobile Europe that the deal centred around the planning and implementation of core elements such as RNCs and switching centres. O2 UK already has an agreement with BT to manage some elements of its backhaul network.
Huawei has been pushing hard to gain sales traction in Europe with its mobile devices and its infrastructure business, and in April 2011 it would hire 500 peopleto its UK staff as it beefed up its enterprise and device business.
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