Vodafone Hutchison Australia is set to begin merging some of its biggest IT and network systems in the near future as part of the gradual merger of Vodafone and 3, VHA chief Nigel Dews has revealed.
Nigel Dews(Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)
Since Vodafone and 3 announced it would merge two years ago, the company has reduced many of its duplicate systems. Dews told an American Chamber of Commerce lunch in Sydney today that almost every system in the company was duplicated when the merger first began.
"We actually had six point of sales systems. We've rationalised the point of sale systems, content management systems and corporate IT systems," he said. "Nearly all the other duplicate systems are still running."
Dews said that all that remained in the three-year merger plan was to merge the IT systems and the two networks, currently still split between Vodafone and 3. In an interview following the event, Dews revealed to ZDNet Australia that the company is about to embark on its full IT system and network merger.
"We've been in a lot of planning over the last 12 months. We're about to execute some of the large deals in that space ... in the next few weeks," he said. "And then we'll get heavily moving into it. The second half of our three-year plan to fully merge is all about network and IT."
Dews said that on the IT side the company still had to merge its business support systems and its billing systems, and on the network side it would be about merging the core network and the radio access networks.
"There's still two core networks. Behind the two radio access networks we've still got two core networks. We're going to shrink that to one core as well."
Dews reiterated that the company was a "keen supporter" of the National Broadband Network (NBN) and said that the backhaul for the network would help reduce mobile costs and allow the company to move into more regional and rural areas of Australia. He admitted, however, that the company would not rely on NBN exclusively for backhaul for its mobile network because it wouldn't be rolled out in time for many of the company's expansion plans.
The telco chief also said that the company was happy with the number of points of interconnect for the NBN, but admitted NBN Co had been slow in starting negotiations with VHA so the company could prepare to offer services through the network.
"NBN Co has certainly expressed an openness, but it doesn't appear to be a current priority to get commercial negotiations moving," he said, adding that he understood that NBN Co might be trying to bed down the details of its $11 billion deal with telco rival Telstra.
"I understand that but I want to get moving."