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Telstra beats Optus to billion-dollar Defence contract

Telstra is the preferred tenderer for Department of Defence terrestrial communications network contract, the company has announced.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

Telstra has beat out Optus for a billion-dollar Department of Defence contract for terrestrial communications, after a two-year bidding process.

Defence went to tender for the billion-dollar network plan in April 2010. The department is looking to build a high-capacity terrestrial communications network that will look to integrate with the US Department of Defence's own network. The contract will also include mobile phones, unified communications, and management of the network.

Telstra and Optus have been the two main contenders for the tender from the beginning of this year, after edging out a number of rivals. The network roll-out is scheduled to commence early next year.

Telstra's Chief Operations Officer Brendan Riley confirmed today that Telstra had been notified that it had won the contract this week.

"Earlier this week, we did receive some very positive news in that Telstra has been selected as the Department of Defence's preferred tenderer for its terrestrial communications tender," he said at Telstra's Investor Briefing day. "That's quite a significant opportunity. We are now entering into negotiations with the department and will be looking to contract that as quickly as we can."

The Department of Defence was contacted for comment, but no response had been received at the time of writing.

Riley said that in light of this deal, the company sees healthy domestic growth opportunity, but there was also potential for the company to expand into Asia.

"The market opportunity is extremely significant [in Asia]," he said. "We're well placed in some of the markets in Asia already, but it is our intent to focus on entering other markets."

Telstra will focus on selling managed network services, unified communications, cloud services, and aligned professional services into Asia, with a focus on multinational corporations from Australia and across the globe that are moving into Asia.

(Front page image credit: UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter image by Aloha Team, CC2.0)

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