By Stephen Hardy
UnitedNetworks, a New Zealand infrastructure company active in gas distribution and electrical lines, has selected Nortel Networks to supply equipment for a previously announced optical network. The network, which will serve Auckland and Wellington, will see UnitedNetworks offering wholesale bandwidth on an optical network built along its current rights of way.
Nortel will supply its Passport 8600 routing switch as part of the deal, according to Arun Jain, director of marketing for optical Internet at the equipment provider. The router will be part of a relatively simple network architecture that will provide Ethernet-based services in the central business districts of Auckland and Wellington beginning in the first half of next year. Jain anticipates that UnitedNetworks will deploy the Passport routers at its points of presence, then use its optical networks to connect the routers to Ethernet switches at the customers� premises.
While business growth may require additional optical networking equipment, Jain predicts UnitedNetworks will use this simplified architecture to support voice and video services as well as data via Ethernet connections. The Passport routers will support 10/100 and Gigabit Ethernet, as well as 10 Gigabit Ethernet virtual private networks, according Nortel.
UnitedNetworks hasn�t announced a dollar value for the contract, and Jain declined to predict how many routers the company would need for its new network. However, he did say that the emerging carrier had subcontracted at least some of the build out, design, and implementation work to Nortel. United Networks also has selected Works Infrastructure Ltd. as the supplier of �civil works� for the project.
In addition to supplying services within Auckland and Wellington, UnitedNetworks will link its network to the Southern Cross cable system. In announcing the network last July, company officials estimated initial capital costs of around NZ$30 million over the first two years of the project.