The Northern Territory government has signed a memorandum of understanding with NEC to set a framework and identify major areas for digital development in the region.
Northern Territory chief minister Michael Gunner said in a statement today that NEC would use its expertise in submarine cable systems, Open-RAN 5G, and artificial intelligence to grow the territory’s digital capabilities.
Underinvestment in digital technology in the territory has been a bleeding issue and Darwin has remained Australia’s only capital city without 5G deployments.
The Japanese company was partially selected because it is one of the Territory’s largest employers with 187 full-time staff across the region, the minister said.
Gunner said the partnership would create more industry training, business opportunities and jobs.
Gunner said the MoU would ensure the government and NEC “work together to boost the territory’s digital capabilities…off the back of significant subsea cable and data centre infrastructure announcements.”
Recent private sector investments in subsea fibre optic cables and data centre infrastructure in the region include NEXTDC building its first data centre in the territory after purchasing Darwin land from the government last October.
Darwin is also set to be connected to Singapore via Jakarta courtesy of a new subsea cable project codenamed Project Horizon.