BCL has appointed long-time technology partner Ericsson to build its new national IP backbone for around $5 million.
Ericsson has provided the technology for BCL's digital microwave radio (DMR) network for many years and now BCL is moving into the telecommunications wholesale market, Ericsson will extend the DMR network to include an IP layer, says Ericsson New Zealand's general manager for marketing Stephen Inglis.
"We're putting … some high-speed ethernet switches around various base station sites. We'll be aggregating some of the traffic from BCL's new wireless sites and bringing it into the common IP core."
Inglis says this deal is similar to the recent TelstraClear technology deal Ericsson struck.
"It's along those lines except with BCL we're operating in a radio environment which has it's own challenges and it's a wholesale environment where TelstraClear was retail."
Inglis says building a network that will eventually be accessible by any number of competing retailers is a challenge.
"BCL won't be competing with the Telstras and the Telecoms. It's an open access network and our job is to integrate our stuff with the existing BCL network … As these retail service providers come on board we'll be using some smart VPN [virtual private network] and virtual LAN technology to partition those customers. They can then differentiate themselves at a retail level."
Ericsson won't need to hire any more staff for the project, says Inglis, and it should take two or three months to complete the initial roll-out.