Australia IT is reporting that AAPT, a subsidiary of Telecom New Zealand, will spend a further AUD10 million (USD6.16 million) on upgrades to its network, having already invested AUD20 million so far this year. The upgrade represents the third, and final, stage of AAPT’s plan to tie its systems to those of its recent acquisition, Powertel. Alcatel-Lucent has been selected to provide hardware and related services; rival Cisco was contracted for the initial two stages. AAPT’s CEO, Paul Broad, commented, ‘Over the past 18 months we’ve continued to invest in the capability and reach of our access network. This strategic investment with Alcatel-Lucent is the next step in the process to cement AAPT’s position as Australia’s telecommunications provider of choice and follows our AUD20 million MPLS core implementation earlier this year.’ Deployment of the new equipment is expected to begin by Christmas, with completion of the project expected in June 2009.