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Optus hits LTE switch in Newcastle

Puts Huawei on LTE leader board

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Huawei Australia is inching closer to securing the national tender for Optus’ LTE rollout following its placement as technology partner for the commercial rollout of an LTE network in Newcastle and surrounding areas.

The commercial contract follows extensive trails between the Chinese vendor and the carrier for LTE deployment across various spectrum.

As part of the deal Huawei is supplying the full turnkey solution for the project, including installation, commissioning, spectrum refarming, project management, transmission provisioning, managed services and professional services.

Operating on Optus’ 1800MHz spectrum, the network will be built on Huawei’s SingleRAN (Radio Access Network) platform , capable of delivering 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE from a single base station site. Huawei began the project in late 2011, with services due to come online in April this year.

The alliance bodes well for future LTE deployments from Huawei, particularly for the anticipated national metropolitan LTE rollout that Optus has slated to begin mid-year. The tender is still understood to be under consideration with an announcement imminent.

Optus’ Newcastle rollout stems from its acquisition of 4G wireless operator vividwireless in February for $AU230 million.

Via the acquisition, Optus scored access to up to 98MHz of spectrum in the 2.3GHz band. The network assets are being integrated with Optus’ 1800MHz 4G network, of which the Newcastle and Hunter region deployment will be the flagship run.

Huawei has been vividwireless’s technology partner and successfully trialled LTE-TDD in early 2011, delivering peak speeds as high as 128 Mbps and typical download speeds ranging from 25Mbps to 87Mbps. Huawei’s technology is used in all of vividwireless’ networks across Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and Brisbane.

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