Hutchison 3G Australia signs Ericsson

Hutchison 3G Australia signs Ericsson

Newly formed Hutchison 3G Australia has signed up Ericsson Australia to supply and install its 3G (third-generation) mobile network in a deal worth $830 million.

The network, which will cover Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, will be rolled out for a staged commercial launch by early 2003.

The terms of the contract provide for the supply of a WCDMA (wideband code-division multiple access) radio access network, IP (Internet Protocol) core network and transmission technologies, advanced network management systems, network operations and a number of key network platforms.

Ericsson said a Cisco IP core network will be implemented to enhance the integration of future 3G applications.

The base network design will utilize 2100MHz spectrum, and Ericsson said it has also committed to working with Hutchison on the future delivery of an 1800MHz capability in network infrastructure and dual-mode terminals.

Motorola Australia will provide its radio access network for the Sydney and Brisbane license areas.

Funding for the network, which is expected to be paid off over four years, has been underpinned by the Hutchison 3G Australia alliance; parent company Hutchison Whampoa, Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) and Telecom of New Zealand.

This is the second partnering announced by 3G spectrum license holders to deliver Australia's 3G networks.

Cable & Wireless Optus announced in April a seven-year, $900 million infrastructure deal with Nokia for the supply of a 3G RAN (radio access network), for both WCDMA and Edge (Enhanced Data GSM Environment), as well as a 3G circuit and packet core network. Edge is an enhancement of GSM (Global System for Mobile communication).

ArrayComm, which bid under the name of CKW Wireless, has also signalled it will utilise its i-Burst wireless system technology to deliver its 3G network within Australia's capital cities.

Other spectrum licence holders - Telstra, 3G Investments (owned by Qualcomm) and Vodafone Group - have yet to announce plans for their 3G networks.

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