India’s Reliance Communications (RCom) has contracted Ericsson to manage both its wireline and wireless networks across all its operations in India.

The seven-year contract, reportedly valued at more than $1 billion, covers RCom’s 2G/CDMA/3G networks as well as 150,000km of fibre. It is an expansion of an existing agreement with Ericsson covering about half of India (11 regions in the north and west) and is the vendor’s first nationwide contract in India.

The additional 11 regions (or circles) in the east and south were previously managed by Alcatel-Lucent, the Economic Times said.

The deal covers field maintenance, network operations and operational planning, and integration started this week. Ericsson said in a statement it will streamline RCom’s operations by managing its mobile, fibre, fixed-line and enterprise assets using its centralised network operations centre.

RCom is India’s fourth largest mobile operator with 108 million connections and a 11.5 per cent market share, according to GSMA Intelligence.

Ericsson, which currently employees about 6,000 people in India for its existing managed services contract with RCom, will add another 7,000-8,000 staff, 3,000 of which will come from Alcatel-Lucent or its contracts, the Times said.

Suresh Rangachar, RCom’s head of commercial, said: “Given the complexity of networks and the growing performance expectations from customers, we are banking on the experience, innovation and technical expertise of Ericsson to improve the productivity of our network and ensure customer satisfaction and retention by delivering superior network performance and service quality at optimised costs.”