Nokia Siemens Networks is the latest to have secured contracts for the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN), with the announcement it will supply optical transmission equipment for the fibre network.
The contract will initially call for $10 million worth of equipment and include the acquisition of test laboratory equipment and systems to support early mainland release sites. The contract's value could extend to $400 million over 10 years, with NBN Co reserving the right to exit the contract at any time if requirements aren't met.
“Awarding this contract is essential to enable reliable high-speed transmission of large volumes of information,” NBN Co head of corporate services, Kevin Brown, said in a statement.
Optical transmission equipment will be used to provide connectivity between fibre access nodes, aggregation sites and points of interconnect (POIs). It is used to span long distances and provide additional capacity on links where fibre is leased from a third party.
Transmission systems are typically designed in rings to provide two paths to every site which gives protection in the event that the fibre is cut or damaged on one path.
“Numerous metropolitan and regional rings are required to carry traffic from a few tens to thousands of kilometres," he said. "Several long-distance rings spanning thousands of kilometres will be required to link remote locations to points in states such as Western Australia and the Northern Territory.”
Some researchers have suggested providing multiple redundancies in fibre links directly to the home, in case of cable breakages.
"To date no practical investigations have been done into offering redundancy in the access network, meaning that it should be considered a necessity to review this,” Aalborg University researcher, Gustav Helgi Haraldsson, told attendees of the World Computer Congress 2010 in September.
“All NTs (network terminals or distribution nodes) are thus now more than ever becoming reliant on the reliability of an all-purpose network since all these services are now being transferred to this all purpose network. However today’s network planning has mainly focused on the upper levels of the network, when creating redundancies rather than planning the access networks with non redundant topologies."
The contract is the first of several flagged by NBN Co chief executive, Mike Quigley, earlier this month, with indications the wholesaler will award additional equipment contracts with a value of over $2 billion by the end of the year. It is also the second most expensive contract awarded so far, after contracts for GPON and Ethernet aggregation equipment were signed with Alcatel-Lucent earlier in the year with a value of up to $1.5 billion.
Additional reporting by James Hutchinson.