New Zealand regional operator UnisonFibre has selected French telecoms service provider Alcatel-Lucent to rollout a 130km fibre-optic cable across its network regions in Hawke’s Bay, Taupo and Rotorua. In September 2010 the company, as a part of the Central Fibre Consortium, was short-listed as a partner in the government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) initiative. However, UnisonFibre sales and marketing manager Wayne Baird has distanced himself from talk of a deal with UFB management company Crown Fibre Holdings, telling the National Business Review that UnisonFibre’s rollout is independent from the government project, describing it as ‘business as usual’. The company gained its Network Operator Status from the government on 17 August 2009, and immediately rolled out a 44km fibre-optic network between Hastings and Napier.
UnisonFibre has chosen the company’s IP/MPLS (Multi Protocol Label Switching) portfolio, which includes its 7450 Ethernet Service Switch and 7210 Service Access Switch. The solution will enable it to offer a broad suite of high-bandwidth services on its fibre network, opening up new possibilities for local schools, hospitals, businesses and the wider community. UnisonFibre’s network will offer a variety of connection speeds ranging from 100Mbps to 1Gbps. Nigel Purdy, general manager of UnisonFibre commented: ‘We are connecting customers like they’ve never been connected before, enabling them to send and receive large data files at lightning speed, participate in high-definition video conferencing, and access the benefits of cloud computing and voice over IP. With the Alcatel-Lucent solution, we can cost-effectively deliver ultra-fast data services and voice connections utilising carrier-grade networking equipment that is reliable, scalable and proven, both in New Zealand and around the world’.