VHA signs up for NBN trials

4 May 2011

Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA), the joint venture between Australian mobile network operators Vodafone Australia and Hutchison 3G Australia, has reportedly signed up to offer trial services over the National Broadband Network (NBN) at the first mainland release sites. According to ZDNet Australia, the operator is set to trial the fixed line services, despite not being one of the twelve companies announced last month as being in the first tier of retail services providers to test services by NBN Co, the public-private company set up to oversee the construction and management of the NBN. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in April 2011 NBN Co confirmed that it was still on target for the launch of end-user trials across the first five release sites on the mainland by September 2011, while the first four operators that had been declared as NBN-ready – Telstra, iiNet, Internode and iPrimus – were expected to be the first to connect customers as part of trials due to start in Armidale in the near future. With trial services now underway in Armidale, VHA is expected to join the four aforementioned operators, and it is understood that the cellco will contact its existing subscribers in the area with a view to offering access to the trial services. VHA CEO Nigel Dews, who announced the development at Hutchison’s AGM, was quoted as saying of the development: ‘We’ve said right from the start that both the retail trial and developing base station access solutions are important, and now we’re comfortable that both of those are progressing.’