Lucent to build Telecom's new CDMA mobile network

Telecom has named Lucent Technologies to build its new CDMA mobile phone network.CEO Theresa Gattung is promising data speeds of 144kbit/s when the network launches next year, and even faster service as it matures.

Telecom has named Lucent Technologies to build its new CDMA mobile phone network.

CEO Theresa Gattung made the announcement today - promising data speeds of up to 144kbit/s when the network launches next year, and even faster service as it matures.

AAPT, the Australian carrier in which Telecom took a majority stake last year, is also announcing today it has selected Lucent as its CDMA supplier.

"Telecom and AAPT selected Lucent as a result of independent evaluations, but there are big synergies and obvious customer benefits with both companies choosing the same vendor," Telecom CEO Theresa Gattung said today.

Telecom says Lucent CDMA technology uses open standards so it can best integrate voice, data and mobile technologies.

"The flexibility of its technology will ensure a very comprehensive choice of phones, and Lucent will provide Telecom the same coverage as Telecom's existing analogue network," said Gattung. "In addition data rates of up to 144kbit/s, which can be used for high speed Internet access, will be available at or shortly after launch, with significantly faster data rates being rolled out in the future.

"By using the same network supplier Telecom and AAPT have each been able to drive financial savings of tens of millions of dollars. Both Telecom and AAPT are getting a great deal more bang for their buck."

Gattung said the Telecom and AAPT teams will be collaborating on the development of the project and the use of resources.

"One major but simple example of the benefits of using the same network supplier is that Telecom and AAPT can each provide seamless roaming for customers travelling between Australia and New Zealand."

Also known as cdmaOne, the wireless standard is compatible with third-generation (3G) wireless networks, which will enable high-speed data and multimedia communications necessary for successful e-commerce.

Investing in these networks now will allow Telecom and AAPT to quickly and cheaply upgrade to much higher data speeds as they become available.

Telecom announced in August that it would invest in the approximately NZ$200 million ($US100 million) cellular technology network for commercial launch in 2001. AAPT will be spending a total of $AUS450-500million on its network.

"Telecom's existing digital AMPS and analogue AMPS networks will continue to operate and it is our intention that those networks will remain operational for at least five years," Gattung said. "Customers can be migrated onto the cdmaOne network when it is convenient to them."

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