PowerTel chooses Nortel

In a deal worth $50 million, Nortel Networks is supplying PowerTel with voice switching, network management and remote access equipment for its fibre-optic network in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

According to Gary Dupler, CEO of PowerTel, unsuccessful bidders for the three-year project included Alcatel, Siemens, Ericsson and Lucent.

Dupler told Computerworld that PowerTel selected Nortel's Unified Solution for combining voice and data as being the best option for the network to date.

"We would have liked to put in technology that fully integrates voice and data on the same switch," Dupler said.

"We put in the voice switch supplied by Nortel simply because there wasn't any satisfactory technology."

Dupler said PowerTel is looking for a combined voice and IP solution because voice traffic remains an important market and IP is the future direction of networks.

PowerTel is installing three DMS-100 switches and remote access nodes in its Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne network, Dupler said. The Brisbane phase is expected to roll out in the second quarter, with Sydney scheduled for rollout in Q3, he said.

The company will complete other parts of the network between Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney in January 2000 and finish the CBD rollout by the end of 1999, Dupler told Computerworld.

Dupler also said the construction of the fibre-optic network between Brisbane and Newcastle, which Network Design & Construction (NCD) is building, will be finished by the beginning of September this year.

According to Dupler, PowerTel is still waiting to finalise a number of agreements associated with the project, including who will build the network between Newcastle, Sydney and Melbourne and which companies will supply the operation support system and packet-data network for the project.

Dupler said the agreements should be concluded within two or three weeks at the latest in order to keep the project on track.

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