Sweden-based communications company Ericsson plans to open a duct-manufacturing facility in Porirua, near Wellington, to supply ducts for its own fibre, being installed as part of the Ultrafast Broadband (UFB) and Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) developments.
The facility will produce fibre ducts for Ericsson’s Ribbonet and Micronet ABF (air-blown fibre) systems, starting in the second half of this year.
Ericsson's $15m investment will create 30 jobs. “Locating the facility in New Zealand means that our delivery timelines will be significantly reduced, we will reduce the environmental impact of the shipping process and have the opportunity to utilize local skills in production and product development,” Ericsson Cables’ executive vice-president Magnus Kreuger says.
Some of the ducting to be made in Porirua will be of a new type, especially adapted to carrying fibre for the long distances involved in the RBI. There is some possibility of future export for this, says Ericsson.
The 10,000 square-metre factory will be sited in part of the former Mitsubishi vehicle manufacturing facility at Todd Park. It is perhaps appropriate, says ICT Minister Amy Adams, that the factory will now be aiding a 21st century kind of transport in the form of broadband communications.