Business briefs: Optus and Nokia, QSI and Sun, IT&e and Advent One, as well as Reckon and Southmark make the news

Optus has moved to get its 3G network up and running by entering a $A900 million infrastructure deal with Nokia. The seven year contract covers the provision of both 2G and 3G equipment as well as 3G applications development in a joint mobile Internet applications laboratory known as FutureLab. "This level of expenditure on infrastructure is consistent with what we currently spend on our network," explained Paul O'Sullivan, managing director of mobile at Optus. He added that FutureLab will give Australian software developers access to 3G developments worldwide and will help local designers get their applications to market. "We intend to ensure that Australians stay at the forefront of technology innovation," O'Sullivan explained.

Queensland developer QSI Payments has extended its relationship with Sun Microsystems to give QSI a Sun ISV status and to help commercialise its technology worldwide. Sun has also notched up brownie points under the Australian Government's Partnership for Development program by agreeing to support QSI with equipment that will help maintain the development of its e-payments software. "As a result of this PFD agreement, global e-payments are increasingly likely to be processed using software developed in Australia," claimed Peter Maruff, QSI's vice president of strategic alliances. "QSI developed its e-payments infrastructure for the Sun platform, and Sun products continue to play a very important role in the research and development of some of our most exciting new products."

As part of a strategic plan to focus on its core expertise in IT and e-commerce, listed company IT&e has sold its Melbourne network integration business to Advent One, an applications and infrastructure developer set up a year ago by Tom Smyth and Bob Basset. IT&e will retain its Sydney network integration company The Missing Link. Bob Johnson, IT&e's CEO and chairman, said the sale and related agreements will allow the two companies to gain considerable cross leverage through co-operative e-commerce services and "e-infrastructure engagements".

Listed software distributor Reckon has abandoned its attempt to sell majority stakes in its businesses in Singapore and Hong Kong to local management and has "withdrawn its financial support for those companies". A statement released by Reckon said it is likely that liquidators will now be appointed to both companies.

Southmark Solutions, a lifecycle services arm of Fujitsu Australia, will be drawn closer to home and renamed Fujitsu Multivendor Systems. Phil Kerrigan, CEO of Fujitsu Australia, claimed the "alignment" of Southmark with the rest of Fujitsu in Australia and NZ will "strengthen its capacity to design, build and operate leading-edge technology solutions". The change will not affect customers, he said.

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