The deal between Vodafone Ghana and Huawei, a leader in next-generation telecommunications network solutions for operators around the world, for a five-year managed services early this year, is just the beginning. Huawei under the agreement will handle some key aspects of Vodafone Ghana for this duration. This will include the Vodafone Mobile, Microwave, SDH, and Fixed Switching networks.
The partnership provides Vodafone Ghana with a long-term sustainable operating model, reducing its operational expenses and enabling the operator to focus further on providing more attractive new services to its customers. The network operations agreement also guarantees the performance and quality of the Vodafone network, which is used by multiple vendors across the country.
Under the managed services agreement, a number of Vodafone Ghana employees will undergo training with Huawei and receive cutting-edge training on new processes, technology and tools.
Similarly, Bharti Airtel has some level of managed services contract with Ericcson Nigeria.
It is not clear why this pattern is evolving in West Africa. But one thing is setting the telecommunication operators want to reduce cost by contracting out most of these managed services. The key indication is that the industry has become very competitive. So, any savings will count.
Yet, the key point is seeing the opportunity. While the managed services are given to MNCs, it is just a matter of time before local firms will start getting such. This pattern is not going anywhere as cost and need to focus on core areas will continue to make these operators to contract out some services.