Sun reaps big Telstra contract

Telstra has chosen Sun Microsystems to supply hardware and software for its next-generation online services and data network, including unified messaging and convenient payment solutions.

The multi-year contract is rumoured to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Telstra aims to create an integrated network of Web services, so that a user could get stock quotes or check e-mail from a wireless personal organiser, mobile phone or via a high-speed Internet connection, the companies said.

The Telstra system will make extensive use of the Java platform and programming language originally developed by Sun. Telstra will also establish a dedicated Microsoft .Net standard to provide maximum choice for customers.

Telstra CEO, Dr Ziggy Switkowski, said: "The new technology environment will effectively open our networks and platforms to the Australian IT industry for the development and hosting of customer applications in a standard operating environment, supporting the leading software architectures and providing certainty into the future for the IT industry."

Ted Pretty, group managing director Telstra Retail, said the carrier had already committed significant amounts to the development of its online infrastructure and expected this new technology environment to deliver both material cost savings and future revenue potential.

"We see the new environment driving material cost savings through consolidation of Telstra's technology platforms, increased speed to market for new services and more efficient application development, integration and maintenance. Revenue growth opportunities exist with more customers being attracted to our networks to access new and compelling applications."

Scott McNealy, chairman and chief executive officer, Sun Microsystems, said that Telstra's new technology environment would enable any business to deliver services, content and applications to users at any time, any place and on any device, across wireline, wireless and broadband networks.

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