TVNZ subsidiary Broadcast Communications (BCL) begins a $30 million project to build a broadband digital microwave radio network throughout New Zealand next month.
"The network is designed to meet the future needs of digital television and telecommunications service providers such as Internet operators," says BCL spokesmans Derek Nielson.
The project has been planned for three-and-a-half years and BCL started the tendering process early this year.
"The essence of the market today is 'speed to market' so you need to get your products there quickly and we need to deploy products very quickly," says Nielson.
The network comprises 44 transmission sites with 120 microwave antennas and over 90 Fujitsu radio terminals incorporating a management system. It is designed by BCL engineers and is the largest project BCL has undertaken in New Zealand since the upgrade to digital radio of its national radio and fibre optic cable network 11 years ago.
Contracts were signed with Fujitsu at the end of September for equipment to be supplied in early December. Installation and commissioning is expected to be completed inside three months.
"We chose Fujitsu as they have a mature product and are technically very good. Also, we've worked with them before," says Nielson.
BCL's head office is in Auckland and design teams are located in Wellington. The company also has an international division.