Carrier brings 1G bps to NZ businesses

Telstra Saturn Ltd. plans to roll out in New Zealand a network based on IP (Internet Protocol) carrying voice, data and video, and offering speeds as high as 1G bps (bit per second). The network will be deployed in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch by June, "with national availability soon after," says the company.

Telstra Saturn has retained LM Ericsson Telephone Co. as its prime contractor for the rollout, in a NZ$50 million (US$21 million) contract.

The network plan is business-focused but may eventually be extended to residential service, says Telstra Saturn spokesman Quentin Bright.

IP is notoriously patchy in its support of real-time services such as voice, but Telstra Saturn claims the network "has mechanisms to guarantee the quality of (such services)".

Telstra Saturn says Ericsson won the contract through "its local ability to manage a project of this size" as well as its technology and its range of international partnerships. Ericsson will include equipment from other manufacturers - such as Juniper Networks Inc., Unisphere Networks Inc. and Extreme Networks Inc. - in the network.