VHA to build nationwide transmission network

Chooses Ericsson for backhaul

Ericsson has won a contract worth an undisclosed amount to build a nationwide transmission network for mobile telco VHA, involving the construction of thousands of upgraded microwave radio and optic fibre links around the country.

The deal may come as some consolation to the Swedish network equipment manufacturer after it was beaten to another large contract in early May to manage VHA’s network as a whole in a deal won by rival Nokia Siemens Networks. Ericsson has long been a key supplier to Hutchison — which now forms a key part of VHA after its merger with Vodafone Australia.

“The contract comprises the supply, rollout and integration of Ericsson optical and microwave transmission equipment,” according to a joint statement.

“An important part of the contract is the provision of Ericsson’s services, including design, installation and integration, field support and project management. Ericsson also has responsibility for the integration of the new transmission elements with existing equipment including products from other vendors.”

The network will use Ericsson’s MHL 3000 DWDM platform, OMS (optical multi-service) 1400 series of optical transport products and the MINI-LINK TN (transport node) microwave solution.

VHA chief technology officer, Andy Reeves, said the telco was also taking the chance to migrate all of its mobile backhaul to the internet protocol, noting it would allow the company to greatly increase its network capacity and end-user speeds, “at a fraction of the cost of older backhaul technologies”.

Other local telcos such as Telstra have also been migrating their internal networks to IP technology over the past few years.

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