PowerTel selects Cisco for $100 million deal

In a $100 million agreement, local telco provider PowerTel has selected Cisco Systems to build a multiservice network offering voice, data and video services.

Labelled one of Australia's largest IP telecommunication contracts, the network -- covering Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne -- will be based on ATM and IP-based technology from Cisco.

According to Stephen Butler, PowerTel's director of engineering, the company decided to build an IP-centric network to achieve "service quality and market leadership".

"Combining multiple services on a single network architecture offers us considerable cost savings , increased service flexibility and highly scalable bandwidth," Butler said.

This announcement follows earlier news that PowerTel signed a $40 million deal with Nortel Networks in February for the supply of network switching and management technology for the same network.

According to Butler, PowerTel has been working with Nortel in two cities for the past four months. Work with Cisco and Nortel is expected to continue throughout this year with a target of connecting 200 buildings across Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

Butler said a pilot of the new network is now under way at PowerTel in Sydney.

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