India's largest mobile-phone operator Bharti Airtel agreed to pay Ericsson $1 billion during the next three years to manage the expansion of its national network. Ericsson will manage the design and development of Bharti's network upgrade. Ericsson's highlights the growing importance of network management contracts in equipment deals. Many equipment deals are now wrapped up with managed services agreements, and it appears Ericsson is capitalizing. Network management contracts are good for operators but are leading to some brutal price wars for vendors as the managed services portion of any sale becomes the main selling point while actual hardware is sold at dirt cheap prices.