Huawei wins UFB contract in NZ

Updated: 2012-02-08 16:03


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WELLINGTON - Chinese telecommunications maker Huawei has scored a second major contract in the New Zealand government's scheme to bring ultrafast broadband (UFB) to most of the country.

Enable Networks, owned by the council in New Zealand's second city of Christchurch, announced Wednesday that Huawei New Zealand would supply the fiber equipment for the city's UFB network, and for services to manage operations and maintenance.

The "multi-million-dollar contract" covered the provision of all network equipment, including fiber ducting, fiber optic cables and open access layer two, or "bitstream," network solutions.

Huawei would also provide the service expertise for the 3,500- km UFB network across Christchurch and neighboring Waimakariri and Selwyn districts, said a statement from the two companies.

"Since we won the UFB contract last year, we've been busy locking in supplier relationships required to deliver on this enormous project. This key relationship is one of the most important," Enable Services general manager network John Humm said in the statement.

"The network equipment provided by Huawei is going to deliver services to our homes, schools and businesses for the next 50 years and more."

Humm said Huawei won the contract thanks to its track record in delivering fiber infrastructure, reputation for quality products, commitment to New Zealand, professionalism and delivery timeframes.

Huawei New Zealand chief executive officer Arthur Zhang said Huawei would play a significant role in New Zealand's second largest UFB coverage area.

"We are very committed to developing our business in New Zealand and playing a significant role in this very important fibre infrastructure project," Zhang said in the statement.

Huawei won a similar contract late last year to build the UFB network in the Hamilton-Central North Island region.

Huawei would supply the optical equipment, including micro tube ducting and optical fiber cables, as well as open access Ethernet network solutions.

The ultra-fast broadband (UFB) network for Christchurch and surrounding centers will pass 180,000 homes, schools and businesses, and is seen as essential for the city's reconstruction after a series of destructive earthquakes since September 2010.

The Enable Networks' deployment will connect a total population of more than 380,000, including about 7,000 businesses, 1,000 medical centres and 170 schools, according to the government.

A government analysis of the potential economic impact of the UFB project indicated it would generate 3,307 extra jobs in Christchurch by 2031.

The roll out, which began in November last year, will be completed over an eight-year period.

Overall the government's UFB initiative will see 75 percent of New Zealanders able to access speeds of 100Mbps or more before 2020 at a projected cost of NZ$1.5 billion ($1.25 billion).