Alcatel has this week spent $6 million expanding its Sydney-based Next Generation Network (NGN) Centre of Excellence.
Recognising the skills and technological capabilities that reside in Australia, the NGN centre, one of four support centres in Australia, will become the NGN hub of expertise for the entire Asia Pacific region.
General Manager for Alcatel fixed solutions division Nick Whitehead said the expansion will see staff numbers double to 75.
"This is a significant investment in Next Generation Technology and skills as we have recognised that customers need guiding in this new area of networking," he said.
Whitehead said the next year would see huge NGN growth in the Asia Pacific, driven by triple play (video, voice and data), and applications such as IP television and mobile phones that can work seamlessly over fixed or mobile networks.
"Just about any operator, whether it's a service provider, vendor or any other, will have their own reason (for investing in Next Generation Networks)," he said.
"Whether it's competition, cost reduction, revenue generation or upgrading due to older networks reaching the end of their lives, everyone will be going down that same path."
Whitehead said IT professionals with a crossover of IP skills and traditional networking skills would be in great demand.
"The majority of staff at our NGN centre have a combination of these skills, but that is incredibly hard to find," he said.
"There are many with traditional telephony skills and many with IP skills, but the market has changed quickly and there are not too many people with skills spanning both areas."