Universities pick vendor partners for NBN courses

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Universities pick vendor partners for NBN courses

Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Huawei pair up with UTS, UNSW, RMIT.

The University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and University of NSW (UNSW) have each inked vendor partnerships to prepare students for building and managing broadband-enabled networks.

Today, UTS announced plans to launch within its city campus an 'Alcatel-Lucent University' that would include a laboratory and training rooms with equipment provided by Alcatel-Lucent.

The centre was expected to accommodate up to 100 undergraduate and postgraduate students, and 1,500 Alcatel-Lucent staff and customers per year by 2012.

Courses would contribute to Bachelor of Engineering, Diploma in Engineering Practice and Master of Engineering qualifications, would be shaped by the vendor's training materials and delivered in conjunction with its staff.

According to UTS, training would focus on technologies such as voice over IP (VoIP), video over IP, access IP technology and Passive Optical Networks (PON) technology.

UTS vice-chancellor Ross Milbourne said students would benefit from gaining ongoing and up-to-date industry experience from Alcatel-Lucent, which was selected as strategic supplier for Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout this month.

Meanwhile, UNSW chose to ink its own deal with networking giant Cisco, resulting in the launch of a new Network Systems Architecture postgraduate course for telecommunications and systems engineers last week.

The course, touted as the first to address NBN and cloud computing skilling demands, started on  July 22 for 50 postgraduates, industry participants and final-year undergraduate engineering students.

It was expected to cover new, systems-level architecture to support e-commerce, data centres and cloud computing.

Both partnership announcements followed a deal inked earlier this month by Melbourne's RMIT and Chinese manufacturer Huawei.

The signing came a week after NBNCo decided to locate its network operations centre (NOC) in Melbourne, and was attended by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.

Under their memorandum of understanding, RMIT and Huawei would build a "next generation technology training centre" that would train 1,000 students nationally during the next five years.

At the launch, Conroy said the RMIT deal would not improve Huawei's chance of winning lucrative NBN Co contracts.

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