Broadband equipment supplier NetComm has been selected by Ericsson to supply TD LTE devices for the fixed wireless broadband network the Swedish vendor is building for NBN Co.
The $1.1 billion 4G, LTE wireless network would service four of the approximately seven percent of Australians living in rural and remote areas where NBN fibre cannot cheaply be made available, with the remainder (three percent) to be serviced by satellite.
"The leading 4G technology, LTE, has a global momentum and its innovative ecosystem is expanding rapidly,” said NetComm managing director David Stewart.
The Ericsson deal was the result of a 12-month courtship by NetComm. It would span three years starting from the middle of 2012 and was expected to have a “significant impact” on NetComm’s revenues between 2013 and 2015, Stewart said.
Although it was difficult to say how many devices NetComm was likely to ship as part of the deal, Stewart referred to a recent report by communications minister Senator Stephen Conroy which estimated NBN Co’s LTE network would cover some 500,000 Australian homes.
Stewart said the devices were designed and developed in Australia and adhered to the latest LTE standard, TD-LTE (time division LTE) which has advantages in terms of cost and performance.
Ericsson Australia boss Sam Saba said the deal with NetComm meant it was “able to facilitate the efficient delivery of LTE-based broadband services to homes and businesses that are usually disadvantaged because of their remote location."