NEC Australia is set to deploy microwave radio technology in three of the largest provinces of the Solomon Island Territory to boost mobile and fixed line broadband capacity.
Solomon Telekom Company Limited (STCL), the major full service carrier of the Solomon Islands and branded as Our Telekom, has selected NEC Australia’s iPasolink IP microwave transmission technology as the core of a major network upgrade that will support over 100 base stations in the territory and extend the reach of their domestic fixed network services.
The microwave backhaul deployment will significantly improve fixed line and mobile broadband speeds across three key provinces.
The deal was won through a competitive tender.
NEC will also provide ongoing training and design services to Our Telekom engineers and deliver a state of the art network management platform.
Our Telekom chief operating officer, Keir Preedy, said the company was committed to connecting and delivering better fixed line and mobile broadband services to consumers, schools and businesses throughout the Solomon Islands, no matter how remote they were.
"This project is a key investment to grow the reach of broadband services and allow greater participation in the dramatic speed and latency benefits that will come with the future submarine cable. NEC Australia demonstrated that the network could be deployed within a tight schedule and budget,” he said.
“Further to proposing the best technical solution with highest transmit power hence the smallest antenna size to meet our unique weather and tower loading conditions, we valued NEC's high level of competence in providing network design and training for our engineers that will ensure we have the skills to maintain the network in future."
Our Telekom will initially deploy the NEC solution in three main provinces of the Solomon Islands, with plans for future expansion to other provinces.
The systems will boost capacity to base stations in Malaita Province, one of the largest regions in the territory; Honiara Province, the Solomon Islands’ capital on Guadalcanal Island; and Western Province, which encompasses several islands.
In Malaita, it will supply and install backhaul links with an initial 500 Mbps capacity that is upgradeable to 1Gbps with software license, and a large number of last mile links that will initially deliver 50-100Mbps and connect to its existing and new base stations.
NEC Australia group manager, social infrastructure, David Cooke, said the technology would be at the heart of fixed line and mobile services in the Solomon Islands.
"We believe our proposal, supported by NEC’s class leading high capacity iPASOLINK microwave radios, offers Our Telekom the best opportunity to achieve a cost-effective and rapid deployment," he said.
NEC’s microwave solutions will be central to Our Telekom’s operations over the next ten years and will provide terrestrial fixed network capacity to carry low latency IP services for future submarine or satellite systems connecting the Solomon Islands to the rest of the world.