Swedish telecommunications equipment company Ericsson has extended its contract to manage Telecom's 025 cellular network from five to seven years.
Brian Phillips, managing director of Ericsson New Zealand, was on the team that negotiated the contract when it began in 2000.
"Services is definitely a growth area for us. This outsourcing contract was a first in Ericsson and we have since got over 30 of them world wide."
The Telecom contract has been used as a model within Ericsson worldwide and both Telecom and Ericsson have presented at a number of conferences on how to structure an outsourcing contract.
Ericsson is responsible for managing the network, including monitoring and surveillance of the end-to-end service, network performance improvements, hardware support and co-ordinating the field and maintenance staff.
Phillips wouldn't be drawn on what the extension to the contract meant for uptake of Telecom's replacement cellular network, Mobile JetStream (027 network), but says Ericsson's responsibility is to manage the 025 network regardless of the traffic levels on it.
"It's really Telecom's call as to how it will market and manage the customer traffic on the network. But there's certainly the expectation that it did need extending."
Telecom has not outsourced its 027 network, but Ericsson hopes its existing contract would put it in the box seat, should Telecom ever make that move.