CWO retains Airservices deal

Airservices Australia has renewed its communications contract with Cable & Wireless Optus in a six-year, $42 million deal to provide satellite and land-based communications.

Under the new deal, which is an extension of an existing contract with CWO that is due to expire, CWO will continue to supply satellite services to Airservices, but will also provide ATM and frame relay services.

"We are basically extending our existing network with substantial enhancements to enable us to meet client expectations into the future," said Richard Dudley, Airservices' manager of corporate communications.

New capabilities such as improved carriage capabilities and new land-based communications are included in the contract, which extends CWO's current relationship with Airservices beyond satellite services.

Airservices' land-based communications services were previously supplied by both Telstra and Optus, Dudley said. Telstra will continue to provide some additional services such as ISDN.

According to Dudley, CWO was selected for the contract following a tender process. The other competing providers were not disclosed. "After the tender process, Optus was the cheapest by far and away," Dudley said.

Substantial savings in the order of "millions of dollars per annum" will be achieved with the contract, he said.

According to Dudley, CWO will provide Airservices with access to its B1 and B3 satellites as well as access to its ATM and frame relay systems to connect its 30 sites around Australia. The ATM and frame relay services will be used for corporate, voice and data networks.

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