Nortel lands $US100M Telstra deal

After fighting off some heavy competition, networking vendor Nortel Networks has won a massive tender with Telstra to supply equipment for the telco's New Generation Telephony (NGT) network.

The deal, valued in excess of $US100 million, is to be rolled out in two stages, according to Kevin Dearsley, Nortel vice president, Telstra account.

The first stage will see Nortel migrate Telstra's existing voice system to a Centrix IP platform, and secondly, implement a couple of softswitch servers (CS 2000 and CS 3000).

Dearsley claims it is the "carrier grade qualities" offered by Nortel's softswitch technology which enables Telstra to deliver advanced voice and data services to millions of its users, and cemented the deal over rivals such as Lucent and Cisco.

The Centrix IP platform offers "99.999 per cent availability" for the network claims Dearsley, who suggests as little as 0.1 per cent unavailability, can equate to a "costly" 27 hours of downtime for a voice/data carrier.

Although some fulfilment for Telstra's migration to Centrix IP will be farmed out to Nortel's existing partners, Dearsley said the channel's R&D developers are set to be the biggest benefactors further down the track.

Dearsley argues that the Centrix platform enables developers to customise voice/data and multimedia applications for their enterprise clients over a common packet-based infrastructure. Deployment of Telstra's NGT begins in Q4 this year and is slated to take three to five years.