Swiss operator Sunrise terminates Alcatel-Lucent network contract

Swiss mobile operator Sunrise cancelled its seven-year, €340 million network outsourcing contract with Alcatel-Lucent. The operator said that it had withdrawn from the deal after only three years due to its need for greater flexibility with regard to LTE and fibre optic developments.

This surprise action by Sunrise is being read by observers as the operator feeling unhappy with the performance of Alcatel-Lucent, which had responsibility for the construction, operation and maintenance of the mobile and fixed network of Sunrise. it is unclear what might happen to the 290 Sunrise employees that transferred to Alca-Lu as part of the service contract.

Another possible cause for friction between the two firms is Alcatel-Lucent's services deal it has with Orange Switzerland, a major Sunrise rival.

Sunrise also said it was keen to target the wholesale and business markets within Switzerland, and wanted to provide these sectors with "innovative solutions, quick implementation and optimal operation of the entire network infrastructure." These statements imply that Sunrise was becoming increasingly frustrated by Alcatel-Lucent's progress with upgrading the company's network to support LTE and the expansion of the operator's fibre optic infrastructure.

Alcatel-Lucent confirmed that it will continue to provide support to Sunrise until February 2012.

For more:
- see this Telegeography article
- see this Inside-IT article (translated via Google Translate)

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