Optus has selected Nokia Siemens Networks in a multi-million dollar deal to upgrade its mobile network core to Evolved Packet Core in preparation for launching Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile services.
Implementing evolved packet core will see Optus' core network become all-IP, and will provide lower latency and increased throughput on the network, while allowing Optus to accommodate GPRS, WCDMA and LTE network traffic. It will also provide functionality that will allow Optus to introduce new services without requiring major overhauls to billing systems.
"This new agreement with Nokia Siemens Networks on using its Mobile Packet Core solution will give Optus the flexibility to provide more bandwidth to our customers as required, especially as online applications and mobile working has become the norm," Optus Network managing director Gunther Ottendorfer said in a statement.
Nokia Siemens ANZ head Kalevi Kostiainen said that the upgrade is vital to address bandwidth requirements in the age of smartphones.
"With the increasing use of data and smartphone applications, our Evolved Packet Core provides a springboard to operators such as Optus to launch new services," he said. "Moreover, our platform is LTE-ready and adds enormous capacity to data transport channels, allowing Optus Open Network to be flexible in responding to the market demands related to high capacity, using a robust platform."
Optus has conducted a number of trials of LTE technology, and is currently testing LTE in the Sydney CBD. The company has yet to announce whether it will offer LTE services to customers this year, following last week's announcement that Vodafone will join rival Telstra in offering LTE services to consumers in 2011.
Optus told ZDNet Australia that the upgrade to the new mobile network core has already commenced, and is set to be completed this year.