Telstra nets $US203 million Qantas upgrade deal

Qantas is on the verge of awarding a $300 million ($US203 million) contract for a complete revamp of its domestic networking and telecommunications infrastructure to Telstra. Qantas executives said the airline had awarded "preferred supplier" status to incumbent Telstra for replacement of telephony, computing, Internet and intranet links between administrative and operational offices around Australia.

Industry sources estimated the value of the contract at around $100 million a year over three years.

The airline is believed to have selected a Telstra bid - incorporating Cisco Systems equipment - ahead of two bids from the telecommunications carrier's bitter rival, Optus Communications. One of Optus' bids incorporated solely Cisco equipment, the other a combination of Cisco and 3Com equipment.