Lucent Technologies is to acquire 50 new staff in New Zealand, despite having shed thousands globally in the past couple of years.
The new staff are ex-Telecom and will shift to Lucent from July 1 as the result of Telecom and Lucent signing a five year, $200 million network management contract.
Under the contract, Lucent will support and manage the 027 CDMA network it built for Telecom and which Telecom launched last year under the brand Mobile JetStream.
Lucent New Zealand general manager Ian Gardner says the deal, which involves Lucent taking over maintenance and optimisation tasks previously done by Telecom, is the culmination of the relationship the two companies have built up.
"It's been part of an evolution."
Customers will benefit from the expertise of Lucent's existing staff and from the fact that Lucent will be applying global best practice in its management of the network, he says.
Telecom network investment manager Stephen Crombie says to expect further advanced messaging products, such as the mobile email arrangement with Xtra in the future and converged mobile and fixed products for business.
There are no plans to upgrade the CDMA network from CDMA1x, the current technology, to CDMA EV-DO and EV-DV, the next steps in CDMA's evolution.
"We're very happy with the network we have currently."
Telecom's 025 network, which the majority of its mobile customers still use, is managed by Ericsson.