The pressure of declining revenues, particularly in the realm of voice network traffic, is driving South Africa’s telecommunications operators to manage their operational costs. 

Mark van Vuuren, MD of Fixed Networks for Siemens Telecommunications, says there is an increasing trend for operators to consider managed services contracts as one of the most effective ways of containing operational expenses.
“This practice has been prominent in Europe and the Far East for three to four years,” Van Vuuren says. “Local operators are under the same pressure to be cost-effective and we are currently in discussion with a number of customers who are looking at outsourcing-type agreements.”
Paul McKibbin, MD of Carrier Services for Siemens Telecommunications, says the deciding factor in the majority of managed services deals is the quality and capacity of the vendor’s local presence.
“A well-established local footprint with a proven track record is the most efficient way to create a cost saving for the customer. Siemens Telecommunications has been in South Africa for 100 years and is firmly entrenched as the telecommunications supplier with the largest local presence, so we are well positioned to capitalise on this trend,” McKibbin says.
Siemens recently celebrated its 100th managed services deal by signing a contract with Brazil Telecom to manage its network infrastructure which includes more than 3.2 million subscribers. Siemens Managed Services will handle the operation and maintenance of Brazil Telecom’s switching technology, its Next Generation Network, its transport network, including the optical portions, and the power and air-conditioning infrastructure.
In addition, Siemens will operate Brazil Telecom’s mobile network in the region and perform optimisation services to ensure maximum coverage.