Bharti Airtel inks services contract with Ericsson

Under the five-year multi-technology managed services agreement, Ericsson will operate, maintain and provide services across 15 of Bharti Airtel's networks in India

Telecom equipment-maker Ericsson said it has signed a five-year deal to provide managed services for Bharti Airtel's India operations for an undisclosed amount.
Under the five-year, multi-vendor, multi-technology managed services agreement, Ericsson will operate, maintain and provide services across 15 of Bharti Airtel's networks in India, Ericsson said in a statement.

In addition, Ericsson will also take responsibility for the intelligent network that manages Bharti Airtel's pre-paid customer base, it added.

"With India emerging as the third-largest internet market and a multi-fold growth in data traffic on the back of a rising number of smartphones, wireless networks need to be ready for the data revolution that has only just begun," Bharti Airtel CEO (India and South Asia) Sanjay Kapoor said.

This partnership will help Airtel focus on creating a compelling service proposition for customers as it looks at ramping up its market access for next generation services on 3G and 4G, he added.

The two companies had inked a five-year managed services contract in July this year for the Africa operations of Bharti Airtel.

The 15 telecom circles under the scope of the partnership include Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh West and UP East, Rajasthan, the North Eastern states, Assam, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Chennai and Kerala.

"The rapid increase in customer numbers and the network complexities due to multiple technology overlays defines the need for a renewed focus on differentiated user experience," Ericsson India Head Fredrik Jejdling said.

On Tuesday, Bharti Airtel closed at Rs373.45 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 3.8% down from the previous close.
 

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GVK Biosciences, Philadelphia co ink drug discovery pact

GVK Bio will be responsible for the target validation, lead identification and lead optimisation of small molecules in selected therapeutic areas

Hyderabad-based GVK Biosciences said it has entered into a drug discovery alliance with Philadelphia-based Moulder Center for Drug Discovery Research at Temple University.

As part of the multi-year integrated drug discovery collaboration, GVK Bio will be responsible for the target validation, lead identification and lead optimisation of small molecules in selected therapeutic areas, including cardiovascular, metabolic, and central nervous system disorders, it said in a statement.

"As part of the collaboration, GVK Bio will apply their integrated drug discovery expertise and technologies to identify interesting small molecules against selected targets," it added.

Moulder Center and GVK Bio will be jointly responsible for designing the molecules for this program. The molecules will be optimised and progressed through lead optimisation to a pre-clinical candidate, it said.

The Moulder Center is a drug discovery center that is used for both internal research within Temple University and for external collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotech companies and other universities.

"This collaboration with Temple University is among several academic collaborations GVK Bio has with leading research institutions" GVK Biosciences CEO Manni Kantipudi said.

Commenting on the development, Moulder Center for Drug Discovery Research Director Magid Abou-Gharbia said the business model reflects increasing trend of collaborations between academic centers of excellence and pharmaceutical companies to discover new drugs.

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Escorts FY11 net dips 5.5% to Rs125 crore

Escort’s board has also approved a dividend of Rs1.50 (15%) per equity share for the financial year ended September 30, 2011

Agri machinery products maker Escorts said its consolidated net profit has declined by 5.47% to Rs125.06 crore for the fiscal ended November 30, 2011, due to rise in raw material costs.

The company had posted a net profit of Rs132.31 crore in the previous fiscal, Escorts said in a statement. Consolidated net sales of the company, however, rose to Rs4,050.32 crore for the financial year ended November 30, 2011, against Rs3,324.21 crore in the last fiscal.

Escorts CMD Rajan Nanda said, "The Escorts annual results reflect the direct impact of a sharp rise in material costs in an overall inflationary economy characterised by price increase of raw material, higher petroleum prices and high interest rates."

He added, "Looking ahead, our aggressive market strategies, launch of new products, recent price revisions and an ongoing cost compression exercise should provide some cushion in the event of continued inflationary pressures."

The company's board has also approved a dividend of Rs1.50 (15%) per equity share for the financial year ended September 30, 2011.

On a standalone basis, the company posted a net profit of Rs120.08 crore for the fiscal, against Rs137.54 crore in the previous financial year.

On Tuesday, Escorts closed at Rs78.55 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 0.64% up from the previous close.

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