Verizon signs technology deal with HCLTech

(Reuters) - Verizon, the No. 1 U.S. telecom company by subscribers, said on Thursday it had signed a technology deal with India's HCLTech to help manage networks for business customers in a bid to stem a decline in its wireline business.

Verizon's wireline business, which includes selling to business customers, has been a drag on its revenue for several years.

Customers are looking for platforms that use artificial intelligence and automation techniques, and Verizon had to decide whether to invest significantly in upgrading systems or partner with a company that has such services, Scott Lawrence, senior vice president at Verizon, said in an interview.

Under the terms of the deal, Verizon Business will lead sales and development, while HCLTech will take care of post-sale network roll-out and support. Some Verizon employees will also move to HCLTech.

The partnership will help to grow existing managed service business, add new clients and reduce potential churn, Lawrence said.

"We are going to start unlocking value as early as the end of this year and certainly into 2024, 2025 and beyond," he said.

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Stockholm; Editing by Mark Potter)