Ross Cormack, CEO, Nawras, said that the telco is working on the details of a network modernisation with Huawei that will pave the way for the launch of commercial LTE services in the “not too distant future”.
Nawras announced last week that it had signed a letter of intent with Huawei to upgrade its network and manage its fixed and mobile networks. Speaking on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Telecoms CEO Summit yesterday, Cormack said that the telco is now working on “site by site planning” for the network upgrade, which will see Huawei overhaul Nawras’ Radio Access Network. Once the planning stage is complete, Cormack said that he would be able to put a more precise timeframe on the deployment and launch of LTE.
Cormack added that the outsourcing deal with Huawei would replace three existing outsourcing agreements that the telco currently has with Ericsson and Huawei. At present, Narwas has a contract with Ericsson to operate its mobile network, a contract with Huawei to manage the international gateway for voice and data, and a separate contract with Huawei to manage the transmission elements of the network.
“That was a series of decisions that were logical at the time, but now that we have got a bigger network it is time to take the benefits of scale of the network and get some cost efficiency savings as well as some end-to-end knowledge by the operator of all the different elements,” he said.
“This is a big change for us because we are looking to partner strategically with Huawei for our radio network infrastructure but also for outsourcing the operations of the entire network, whether fixed or mobile.”
Cormack added that the new outsourcing deal would help Nawras to increase its focus on customer services. “We are getting into much more detailed segmentation of the customer base and increasing our understanding of the very detailed drivers of customer satisfaction so that we can actually drive the business even more accurately in the direction of looking after customers,” he said.
“The future differentiation comes much more from services and applications than it comes from actual operation of the basic network, which is an essential hygiene factor that has to be right in the first place,” he added.