Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) has announced plans to deploy thousands of new Ericsson microwave radio and optical fibre links throughout Australia.
The wireless vendor was contracted as turnkey project manager for VHA's nationwide transmission network, assuming responsibility for the design, supply, rollout and integration of new gear.
VHA has been working on the transmission project since Vodafone and Hutchison 3 merged last year, a spokesman said.
The contract came into effect last week, following what VHA described as an "extensive" request for proposals. The new network was expected to be launched within 12 months.
According to a statement from Ericsson, the new network would be scalable, and provide increased capacity to meet the increasing load of smartphone applications.
It is based on Ericsson's MHL 3000 DWDM platform, OMS 1400 series of optical transport products, and MINI-LINK TN microwave solution.
The VHA spokesman declined to specify transmission speeds, stating: "As we rollout the new transmission network, our customers will be able to enjoy faster data speeds and improved call quality."
"This will ultimately make the network more reliable and prepare it for future technologies."
"We're taking the opportunity to migrate our mobile backhaul to an all-IP network," said VHA's CTO, Andy Reeves.
"This allows us to greatly increase our network capacity and end-user speeds at a fraction of the cost of older backhaul technologies."
In May, VHA inked a seven-year managed services contract with Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) to consolidate Vodafone and Hutchison 3's core networks, removing Ericsson kit in the process.
The NSN deal sparked a review of Ericsson's relationship with Hutchison 3. Ericsson had previously held the managed services contract for Hutchison 3's core network and IT.
Today, VHA told iTnews that it had "a successful working relationship with Ericsson which was formed through work with both Hutchison and Vodafone."
Ericsson's Australia and New Zealand CEO, Sam Saba, said: "We are extremely proud to have been chosen for this major upgrade to the transmission network.
"Ericsson's leadership in optical/DWDM and microwave transmission networks will enable VHA's mobile network backbone to expand capacity and meet the dramatic rise in traffic."