India’s number-three operator Reliance Communications (RCom) has awarded Ericsson an eight-year managed services contract worth $1 billion.

The agreement will see the Swedish infrastructure vendor support wireless and fixed networks in North and West India, covering Delhi and Mumbai and a total of 11 telecom circles.

Ericsson will manage day-to-day operations and will be responsible for the maintenance and operational planning of RCom’s 2G, CDMA and 3G mobile networks.

Around 5,000 RCom employees will move to Ericsson as part of the agreement.

The integrated management provided by Ericsson should bring customer experience improvements, operational efficiencies and cost optimisation, and free up resources for RCom to focus on user experience and innovation.

RCom awarded a similar contract to Alcatel-Lucent in January, covering the southern and eastern regions of India.