BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance Coal Operations (BMA) has signed a $20 million deal for managed communications infrastructure services.
Equant, with Ergon Energy subsidiary Nexium, will connect BMA's Bowen Basin sites in Central Queensland, as well as other key office locations across the state.
The vendor will provide Ethernet services and integrate BMA's network into the BHP Billiton global IP VPN (Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network), for which it is also global provider.
The contract includes transmission, management and monitoring of BMA's managed LAN VPN. Equant will also provide global Internet gateway services - high performance, secure links between BMA's VPN and the Internet.
BMA believes that taking advantage of new technology and advanced telecommunications services will enable it to become more competitive in the global coal market.
The company also hopes it will provide a reliable and secure link between its remote locations across Queensland and enable any-to-any connectivity for BMA and BHP Billiton employees.
Nexium will use the high-speed networks of Ergon Energy, Powerlink, Southern Cross Telecommunications, Uecomm and Queensland Rail in conjunction with Queensland Communications and Networking to provide wholesale telecommunications services to Equant for the deal.