Telstra taps Ericsson/Ciena team for end-to-end fiber-optic network upgrade

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) says it has won a three-year contract from Telstra to upgrade the Australian incumbent's long-haul, metro, and regional fiber-optic networks. Ericsson will use converged packet-optical transport systems and technology from partner Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) to complete the task.

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) says it has won a three-year contract from Telstra to upgrade the Australian incumbent's long-haul, metro, and regional fiber-optic networks. Ericsson will use converged packet-optical transport systems and technology from partner Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) to complete the task.

"This optical upgrade will enable Telstra to deliver speeds of 400 Gbps and up to 1 TB along the busiest routes," explained Emilio Romeo, head of Ericsson Australia and New Zealand. "Higher speeds increase the capacity of each optical link and ensure that Telstra can achieve transmission cost-efficiencies and scale to meet the expected traffic demands that come with media rich, 5G, NBN, and cloud-based services."

"This significant optical program will be the platform to underpin our Network of the Future transformation plans. It will have the resiliency, speed, and security to meet expected traffic growth, deliver critical IoT and 5G traffic, along with cloud and media services," added David Robertson, director, Transport and Routing Engineering, Telstra Operations.

The service provider's Network of the Future initiative aims to bring all of its vertical network elements into a horizontal, software-defined cloud layer. The ability to program and control down to the lowest layer of the network using software-defined networking (SDN) protocols will enable Telstra to reconfigure the network quickly and virtually. The creation of a secure and stable optical layer also will support Telstra's ability to perform "network slicing," which will enable the service provider to optimize its network for different use cases.

"Work has commenced to transform our network to increase its value to business as they shift IT into the cloud, improve productivity and efficiency with mobility, store and process business critical data in the cloud, and apply machine learning to solve complex challenges, while ensuring regional Australians enjoy the same experience as those in our major cities," Robertson added.

The award is the latest for the team of Ericsson and Ciena, which announced a partnership to pursue such opportunities in early 2014 (see "Ericsson, Ciena pair on packet-optical transport, SDN development"). Telstra, in fact, is a repeat customer (see "Ericsson/Ciena venture succeeds with Telstra").

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