Three Ireland extends network management deal with Nokia

Three Ireland has signed a five-year contract with Nokia that will see the Finland-based vendor upgrade and manage the mobile operator's network over a five-year term.

The operator said the agreement -- which extends the two companies' existing network management contract -- is the result of its decision to work with a single managed service supplier while upgrading its newly expanded radio access network, although equipment will still be used from multiple vendors.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Three Ireland noted that the network upgrade would enable it to reduce costs and increase the efficiency of its operations.

David Hennessy, CTO at Three Ireland, said: "By moving to one managed services supplier across our radio access network, we will have a more transparent structure, simplifying operations and enhancing network performance."

The new agreement with Nokia comes hot on the heels of a deal that Three Ireland signed with Amdocs in March: the five-year managed services contract, worth €65 million ($73 million), will see the OSS/BSS specialist support the overhaul of the operator's IT systems and improve time to market for new services.

At the time, the operator said the "IT digital transformation" would include the integration of former O2 IT systems and the elimination of duplicate IT costs, and would be in addition to Three's previously announced network investment of €300 million.

Three Ireland gained European Union regulatory approval for its proposed merger with O2 Ireland in May 2014, and now operates solely under the Three brand on the Irish market.

The operator's parent company, CK Hutchison, had also wanted to buy O2 in the UK and merge it with Three UK. The European Commission recently blocked the proposed deal over competition concerns, however. The Hong Kong-based group is still hoping to push through its plan to buy Wind Italy from VimpelCom in order to create a stronger mobile entity to compete with TIM and Vodafone Italy.

For more:
- see this Nokia release

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