VHA chief executive Nigel Dews today awarded Nokia Siemens Networks a giant network management contract expected to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, handing rival bidder and incumbent Hutchison supplier Ericsson a cursory "thanks" on its way out the door.
"We have selected Nokia Siemens Networks as our partner to manage our network services and to deliver an integrated simplified core network," Dews said in an email to staff this morning, noting it was VHA's "first major network contract" after the company's formation from the merger of Vodafone and Hutchison, which operated the 3 brand.
The contract had been contested by Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), Ericsson and Chinese vendor Huawei.
"As you can imagine, this has been a highly involved process and I'd like to thank all those who took part for their dedication to driving a great new partnership result for our company and ultimately for our customers. It's been a massive effort from the Technology, Supply Chain, Legal, Regulatory and Finance teams," said Dews.
The CEO claimed better value and experience for customers would result from the deal, as VHA simplified its core networks, streamlined its overall network management and put in place new customer-oriented key performance indicators.
"It's a great example of how coming together will mean more value and a better experience for our customers.
But his last words were reserved for the losing Swedish vendor.
"I would also like to thank Ericsson Managed Services for their commitment and dedication to our business over the last eight years and for their ongoing support to VHA with IT and Billing," he wrote.
Ericsson had been removed from the running over a month ago, leaving Huawei and Nokia Siemens Networks to fight it out.
In a separate press statement jointly issued by VHA and NSN, the companies said the agreement would last for seven years and include service management for the core, transmission and radio segments of VHA's mobile network and equipment supply for its core network.
The deal will see NSN "combine two existing operations organisations" and consolidate the two core networks of the merged company, as well as providing business support systems and managing a number of VHA's third-party providers. In particular, NSN will provide VHA with its Flexi Network Gateway packet core platform and expand the company's mobile softswitch and "home location register" systems.