Monday, May 30, 2011

Australia's NBN Co Picks Ericsson for Rural Broadband Wireless

NBN Co, which is building Australia's national broadband network, has awarded a 10-year contract to Ericsson to design, build and operate a 4G fixed-wireless network. The deal is valued at up to AUS $1.1 billion.

The fixed-wireless broadband network will deliver up to 12 Mbps downstream to locations not reachable by fiber. Broadband satellite will also be used as part of the NBNCo plan.

Design of the fixed-wireless network has already started although exact locations for initial rollout won't be announced for several month following the completion of detailed network planning and consultation with local communities.

NBN Co Head of Corporate Services, Kevin Brown said: "It's only right that those parts of the country with some of the poorest access to high-speed broadband should be among the first to receive the National Broadband Network either via satellite or the fixed-wireless solution we are announcing today.

"Those receiving our fixed-wireless service will benefit from the latest 4G fixed-wireless technology, LTE. While wireless spectrum is shared between users, unlike a mobile network, fixed-wireless will allow us to plan a network for a more predictable number of users in a given area. This gives us greater consistency in the speed and quality of service the NBN Co network will provide to each user."

NBN Co has initially entered into a turnkey arrangement for at least 12 months to enable a fast start to construction and delivery. Over time NBN Co intends to assume greater responsibility for construction and operation of this world-leading infrastructure.

  • NBN Co announced in February that it had acquired wireless spectrum from AUSTAR that is sufficient to meet most of its needs for the fixed-wireless services. Spectrum has still to be acquired for WA and the Northern Territory, however the Australian Communications and Media Authority has initiated a public process for the allocation of spectrum in these locations that would be suitable for fixed-wireless services.

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