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Telstra Saturn set to triple bandwidth in NZ

Media Release
26 April 2000

Telstra Saturn set to triple bandwidth capacity in New Zealand

Telstra Saturn’s commitment to a $1.2 billion dollar network investment in New Zealand moved ever closer today with the signing of the contract to install a new broadband submarine cable between Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

“Ericsson Communications will be the prime contractor and our partnership on the cable project will result in a tripling of the amount of available bandwidth in New Zealand. This is new infrastructure for New Zealand and it will strongly support the development of New Zealand’s information economy by offering improved services and lower prices for local and international communication,” Telstra Saturn Chief Executive, Jack Matthews said.

As prime contractor, Ericsson will be responsible for the engineering design and implementation of the ‘forty-eight count’ fibre optic cable. The cable will be laid by a specialist ship and buried into the sea floor using a mole plough.

The submarine cable will link Telstra Saturn’s current Wellington-based network with Auckland and Christchurch and provide the option to link other cities in the future. Mr Matthews said that the cable would be operating before the end of 2001.

Ericsson’s Managing Director, Goran Olsson said his company was delighted to extend its partnership with Telstra Saturn.

“Telstra Saturn are building a state of the art network that gives our company the opportunity to deliver Ericsson services and new technologies. It will keep New Zealand at the forefront of telecommunications capability,” Mr Olsson said.

This is the second submarine cable project Telstra Saturn and Ericsson have completed after last year building a link between Eastbourne and Miramar to provide redundancy in their Wellington network.

Telstra Saturn is a 50-50 joint venture company merging the New Zealand operations of Telstra Corporation and Austar United Communications. As a convergent company Telstra Saturn offers voice, data, mobile, Internet and cable television services to a mix of business and residential customers in the New Zealand market.

Ericsson is the leading provider in the new telecoms world, with communications solutions that combine telecom and datacom technologies with freedom of mobility for the user. With more than 100,000 employees in 140 countries, Ericsson simplifies communications for its customers -network operators, service providers, enterprises and consumers - the world over.

For further information, please contact:

Deanne Weir
Director Corporate Development
Telstra Saturn Limited
Phone: 09 980 8286

Stephen Inglis,
Marketing Manager,
Ericsson Communications (NZ) Ltd
Phone: (021) 948 064

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