Vodafone rolls out new transmission infrastructure

Vodafone has moved closer to 3G and lowered operational costs with the rollout of a new transmission infrastructure provided by Siemens.

Vodafone appointed the vendor to roll out SDH (synchronous digital hierarchy) infrastructure to support its mobile communications network in 1998. The rollout, which took two and a half years, was completed for an undisclosed amount, but was in the million-dollar market, according to David Nell, account manager for Siemens.

Vodafone required a system that delivered higher levels of backbone capacity to meet the demands of data services, General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) and 3G in the future.

"Vodafone's network is vast and some links are becoming a bit tenuous. There was a need to ensure high availability. Vodafone, like other carriers, is looking at data networks and is moving towards 2.5G and even 3G," Nell said.

"Efficiencies are coming from refining the links to make available a more robust backbone, which reduces operational handling. It also creates a high-capacity backbone for future expansions," Nell said.

Siemens provided a new SDH network that is a mix of Marconi products integrated with Siemens technology and wrapped in an all-inclusive service support agreement. Marconi Optical Multiplexers and Network Management systems were used by Siemens in its design and integration of the SDH Equipment.

The SDH technology solution needed to cover many different areas, including product capabilities, project management, system integration and local technical support. The network covers 48 key transmission hubs in four capital cities.

Germaine Graham, Vodafone's manager for corporate communications, said: "The use of the fibre-based technology will lead to improved network availability for customers and provide Vodafone with a high-capacity platform to service the growth in voice and data services at lower operating costs."

As part of a maintenance contract Siemens provides 24x7 network monitoring from its network management facility in Bayswater, Melbourne, as well field support staff in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide to ensure the network meets its service level targets.

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