NBN supplier round-up: Who's in

NBN supplier round-up: Who's in

Summary: Regardless of whether Telstra, Terria or anybody else wins the $4.7 billion national broadband network contract, network hardware suppliers are going to cash in to the tune of billions. We take you through the list of the most likely suspects to win the work.


analysis Regardless of whether Telstra, Terria or anybody else wins the $4.7 billion national broadband network contract, network hardware suppliers are going to cash in to the tune of billions. We take you through the list of the most likely suspects to win the work.

Terria recently put out requests for "construction and telecommunication vendors with experience in equipment supply, civil construction, project management, installation or maintenance" for the national broadband network (NBN). ZDNet.com.au called around to find out who responded.

Company Interested in Terria work?
Alcatel-Lucent No Comment
Cisco Yes
Ericsson No comment
Fujitsu No comment on anything to do with NBN
Huawei Yes, interested
Nortel "Obviously interested in talking to anyone involved"
RAD Australia Spokesperson unavailable
Tellabs Couldn't confirm or deny. The spokesperson said, however, that the nature of the company meant it was into "everything involved in the NBN".

Terria chairman, Michael Egan, did not respond to requests for comment.

Ovum analyst David Kennedy said that most of the money going out to suppliers, around 80 per cent, would be on the access portion of the network, for which he considered the strongest competitors to be Alcatel-Lucent, Chinese vendor Huawei and Ericsson.

He said of those, Huawei was the disruptor due to its introduction of lower pricing into the market.

The rest of the money would go to those companies building the aggregation networks and completing construction work.

Guy Cranswick, IBRS analyst, said alliances with such operators would be decided on the strength of their relationship with the incumbent, Telstra. "The partner(s) will have to work with the incumbent and in a sense a default decision-making process is likely to ensure that the status quo is not disturbed too greatly," he said.

This would seem to point to Alcatel-Lucent or Ericsson, which have fostered a strong relationship with Telstra over the years.

In fact, Alcatel-Lucent was chosen for Telstra's ditched 2005 NBN plan. Neither Telstra nor Alcatel-Lucent would comment on current industry speculation that the network specialist had already been chosen to facilitate Telstra's roll-out for the government's NBN and that the agreement precluded it from signing on with other bids.

Ericsson played a role in Telstra's Next G roll out. The network vendor was also unwilling to comment on its possible involvement in the Telstra bid.

Suppliers will also have been approached by Acacia. However, the group has been keeping its cards close to its chest.

Topics: NBN, Broadband, Cisco, Networking, Telcos, Telstra

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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  • What could have been.

    Telstra's ditched NBN plan from 2005?

    So really if it hadn't have been for the ACCC sticking their noses in to protect us all, and scaring Telstra off, we would now have a Telstra fftn network in the cities and as a consequence, an OPEL WiMAX network in rural areas. All completed, or as good as.

    This would have given us two completely different networks, run by two competing companies, who in turn may have then invested more into each others areas, creating increased competition and better prices. This sounds great, doesn't it?

    But instead, It's now almost 2009 and we continue to wait and will wait for many more years to come, even if the NBN was anounced right now.

    Let's face it, Telstra may not have invested in 2005, but in all likelyhood, will get the nod plus almost $5 billion tax payer funded bonus in 2009/10. For something we should already have, which only would have cost the tax payer the $1 billion OPEL subsidy!

    So regardless of pricing, Telstra hater or fanboi, let's all try to agree, what a pity we let bureaucrats impede our advancement.

    Thanks ACCC.
  • @ What could

    If Telstra had cooperated with the government and the ACCC instead of taking their ball and going home, then we would now have a Telstra FTTN network in the cities completely open to competition.

    However if Telstra got their way back then, we would now have a FTTN network that would've ultimately destroyed competition and leave rural/regional Australians in the dark (Or on an overpriced 3G network).

    Thanks Telstra.
  • Another unbiased expert

    Yorrick, I thought you put the point across pretty well. No real bias and interesting take on the situation

    Unfortunately though there are always those who are so ***ked up, from both sides, they have to show their stupidity, hey anonymous.

    There's really no point in trying to correspond with rationality when doing so with these brainwashed simpletons.
  • @@what could

    fence sitter, i dont agree with all yorrick said but it was interesting. as for anonymous though, you really have no idea about businesses, investment, roi, do you? typical geek who knows nothing but his joystick, response.

    cooperate with the gov and accc, haha. what spend $5bill of their own money [no handouts] max risk, min return, max regs, just to have whiners like you, tttt and the rest of the non doers put **it on them, yeah right .

    heres what your hero says about telstras 3g network.

  • Yeah nextg is great!

    I get blistering fast speeds and thanks to telstra's generous download allowances I get to take advantage of it once a week when i check my email. Thanks telstra you know exactly what Australians want... and need. Telstra knows best!!
  • Take cost out of it, just go Cisco!

    If you want to build a proper NBN you need to use the best equipment - not the cheapest! What’s the point having a network built on inferior hardware running inferior software?
    The best out of all of the manufacturers would be Cisco by far. They have a proven track record and they have the resources should anything go wrong. It might be more expensive but you know it will work and work well, so in the long it’s not going to cost anymore!
  • You are mistaken

    Actually, Yorrick's statement shows a lack of understanding of the issues at hand regarding NBN, as well as making completely false assumptions.

    1. Competition?
    Opel would have serviced different areas (mainly rural) to NBN - so how exactly will there be competition if they are not competing against each other. There certainly wouldn't be any price competition. Epic failure of logic.

    2. Due Process
    Yorrick's sentiment seems to be : just get the NBN done already as quickly as possible - damn you bureaucrats!

    a) Accountability to Taxpayers
    Even though the NBN when completed won't even be cutting edge by current world standards, it is an expensive project, and such investment by the Govt. is unlikely to repeated anytime soon. Therefore should be done properly, not in a hurry.

    You can't just assume Telstra is the only one capable of building an NBN (how on earth can you assume this), and therefore ignore due process and go to a sole source tender.

    It is important to go open tender so as to get best value for money for TAX-PAYERs.

    In fact, the different bids from the various competitors has resulted in one major differential between Telstra's bid and the others. Namely...

    b) Structural Separation.
    The idea of structural separation is so that the Taxpayer subsidised network will be whole-saled at reasonable prices, while enabling true competition at the retail level.

    Reasonable prices means reasonable PROFIT for the network provider at reasonable COST to the user without price gouging.

    As the provider of the NBN network WILL be a MONOPOLY (and don't pretend it won't be), only regulation can ensure fair pricing. And this can only be done if the wholesale network is separated from the retail network of the winning bidder.

    Because in any market (telco or not), monopolies ALWAYS result in higher prices than. This un-acceptable for a TAXPAYER FUNDED network.

    Telstra has been the only bidder railing against structural separation (as opposed to Terria and Acacia). In fact, the primary reason for Telstra's hissy fit back then was because they were opposed to this separation.

    However, in recent times they have conceded that structural may be a possibility.

    And this is because due process wasn't thrown to the wind as Yorrick wanted.

    Regardless of who eventually wins the bid, the winner should be the one who provides the Australian taxpayer with the best deal for this critical piece of infrastructure.

    BTW I am a Telstra shareholder but regardless of who wins the bid, I would rather lose a few of thousand in shares than see a poorly implemented, poorly regulated NBN which sees Australian taxpayers getting the shaft through exoribitant pricing on a network that they helped to pay for.
  • Reply to anonymous

    Thanks for the reply Mr. Ms or Mrs. Anonymous. But for a supposed Telstra shareholder you sound suspiciously like one from the other camp!

    1. NextG, Vodafone have rural coverage, which would have equated to competition in rural areas with OPEL, which equates to logic.

    2. By rushed do you mean a minimum of 5, 10 or more years. Remember 'your company' Telstra, offered to build in 2005. Hardly rushed, in my book.

    a) Accountability to taxpayers. Talking about epic logic failure, it could have been done in 2 parts. i. Telstra self funded and ii. OPEL with a $1billion taxpayer subsidy. But it will now cost taxpayers almost $5 billion. You then go on to say the winner should be the one who offers taxpayers the best deal???

    I'm not assuming anything I said 'in all likeyhood' Telstra will win. Please confer with Oxford or wiki if you do not understand my statement.

    There are pros and cons in structural separation, which have been outlined by the likes of James Bell and SJT right here on ZDNet over the last few months. I too thought structural separation was the only way, but after reading links to articles on comms day, ovum and others, I have discovered that it certainly isn't.

    As a Telstra shareholder , you should know that although the taxpayer did pay to build the CAN, it was debt riddled, to the tune of $5-6 billion I believe and 'you Telstra shareholders' repaid this debt, debt which went all the way back to federation 1901. So by buying Telstra shares you are now, along with all other Telstra shareholders, a part owner of the CAN/PSTN'. This network actually belongs to you, not me, how ironic. So if Telstra shares go to $10 or down to $1 it will not affect me and from your comments I don't think it would truthfully affect you either.

    I don't care who wins as long as it isn't drawn out to 2015 and no more than the allocated government subsidy is handed out. Unfortunately I have a sneaking suspicion that Terria or Acacia will keep going back cap in hand to the government, for more and more assistance, which the government will gladly hand over, so as to save face, politically.

    I don't want this exercise which should have only cost the taxpayer $1b with OPEL to now cost $10b. Hospitals, roads etc are more important, as far as I'm concerned.
  • The environment is safe with you around

    You keep recycling the same old sh1t over and over and over.
  • Thank you all!

    Thanks to one and all for unknowingly involving them selves in my psychological profile.

    I came here to see what sort of a reaction one would receive, when putting across both pros and cons from both sides of the telecoms impasse, rather than the typical for or against position.

    It is obvious that the foot in each camp comments of "Yorrick Hunt", were ignored by the, 'for Telstra mob', but Yorrick was systematically attacked and personally ridiculed for not agreeing with the 'against Telstra mob'. Attacked as one would imagine Sydney Lawrence wearing an I love Telstra tee shirt to T4 happy hour, would be.

    From this I can safely gather that the, for Telstra people, are more open to others opinions and willing to listen, whereas the against Telstra people do not have any perception of others opinions and no thought processes outside of whatever they believe to be correct.

    There's no compromise with the 'against Telstra mob', you are either 100% with them or you are the foe. And being the foe apparently then makes you fair game for any form of ridicule imaginable, as witnessed above, with just minimal prompting.
  • Telstra just suk

    Stop trying to use logic, they are crap and until they are shut down and split up this country will not get any better. Just go back to NWAT with your cronies. If Terria wants to charge me $100 for a service I will pay, If Telstra charges the same I wouldn't.
  • With those comments, I rest my case.

    Thank you.

    Your comments, right on cue, have just categorically proven my point, beyond any doubt.

    No further comment from me is required following this, as even you admit, logic doesn't work with the 'against Telstra mob'.

    I now rest my case.
  • @telstra just

    yes, lets shut them down, then split them up, haha, idiot.
  • Simple really.

    Never in the history of human sensibilities, logic or business acumen has been seen people with such demented mind processes as the Anti Telstra loony tunes that have Posted here lately.

    God help Australia if these retards are any indication of the mental capacity of the average Australian. TELSTRA RULES OK always has and always will because they offer a superior service at a reasonable cost.