Rural Australia to get Ericsson LTE broadband network

Ericsson has been appointed by Australia’s National Broadband Network to build and operate a fixed wireless LTE network to service the country’s rural areas. Rural households will gain access to the service from mid-2012 with the project to be completed by 2015, the Swedish vendor said on June 1st.

The National Broadband Network (NBN) was established by the Australian government in 2009 to create a network of high speed broadband to service the whole country and forms part of a significant A$36bn investment in network infrastructure.

NBN said that download speeds will be in the region of 12Mbps with upload speeds maxing out at 1Mbps. While the upload speeds quoted are relatively modest for an LTE network, NBN said it was looking to offer a reliable and consistent experience rather than simply chase unrealistic peak speeds.

“NBN Co will be offering rural and regional Australians the latest 4G wireless technologies as part of its fixed-wireless service. Fixed wireless will allow us to plan a network for a more predictable number of users in a given area. This gives us greater control over speed and quality of service,” Kevin Brown, acting chief executive officer of NBN, said in a statement.

Sam Saba, head of Ericsson in Australia, said: “As the leading 4G technology, LTE has global momentum and its ecosystem is expanding rapidly. Thanks to our services, network offering and support for the widest range of bandwidths and frequency spectrums, we are able to facilitate the efficient delivery of LTE-based broadband services to communities that are usually disadvantaged because of their remote location.”

The deal is a ten-year agreement by which Ericsson will provide the radio access, core and transmission on the network as well as related services – from design and build of the network, to service activation, management and assurance and network performance management. After the ten-year period, handling of all network operations will revert to NBN.

Ericsson said that its RBS 6000 multi-standard base station and Evolved Packet Core equipment would be used in the roll-out.

The company recently found success at the Informa LTE 2011 Awards, earning a gong for Best Contribution to R&D for the LTE industry.

The Broadband World Forum will  take place on 27th-29th September at the CNIT, La Defense, Paris, France.

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