Nokia Siemens Networks will hire an additional 100 staff to support a multi-hundred million dollar deal it has won with Vodafone Hutchinson Australia (VHA) for the consolidation and management of the carrier's networks.
"We are having up to 200 [working on the VHA contract]," said Kalevi Kostiainen, head of Nokia Siemens Networks in Australia and New Zealand.
The company currently has 100 staff internally that will be able to work on the contract. An estimated additional 100 would be hired, Kostiainen said.
Lasting seven years, the deal will see Nokia Siemens Networks consolidate the management of both Vodafone and Hutchison's mobile and core networks, which Nokia believes will take between six and 18 months to complete. Vodafone and Hutchison merged their Australian operations in February last year.
"It's basically putting two operational organisations together — two existing large organisations together — [and] consolidating two large core networks into one core network," Kostiainen said.
"It's a critical thing to do it as fast as possible," Kostiainen said. "It depends on [certain] technology areas, [but] I would say between six and 18 months depending on the areas we talk about is the actual consolidation time."
As well as consolidating, Nokia will replace existing network hardware to improve VHA's mobile network and the amount of data that can be pushed through it.
A Nokia product called Flexi Network Gateway — which hasn't yet been deployed on Australian networks — will replace existing hardware across VHA's mobile network and improve the amount of transactions that can be made over it, according to Kostiainen.
Ricky Corker, head of APAC at Nokia Siemens Networks, explained that the product increased "the capacity by 100 times compared to what the previous generation was [able to do]. So you can put 100 times more data through this technology than you could with the old technology".
There is an additional VHA radio network contract that is out to tender and yet to be awarded to a vendor. Both Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks supply radio network equipment currently.