Home Industry Deals NEC wins deal to boost Solomon Islands mobile, broadband services

Mobile and fixed-line broadband capacity in the Solomon Islands is set to be boosted with the deployment of NEC Australia’s radio technology in three of the largest provinces of the country.

The initial deployment in the three largest provinces will be followed by future expansion to other provinces, including remote parts of the country. The NEC microwave backhaul systems will boost capacity to base stations in Malaita Province, one of the largest regions in the territory; Honiara Province, the Solomon Islands’ capital on Guadalcanal Island, and Western Province, which encompasses several islands.

The planned deployment follows the selection of NEC’s iPasolink IP microwave transmission technology by the Solomon Islands major full service carrier Solomon Telekom under its Our Telekom brand.

The microwave transmission technology will sit at the core of a major network upgrade by Solomon Telekom to support over 100 base stations in the territory and extend the reach of domestic fixed network services.

In Malaita, NEC will supply and install backhaul links with an initial 500 Mbps capacity that is upgradable to 1Gbps with software license, and a large number of last mile links that will initially deliver 50-100Mbps and connect to its existing and new base stations.

NEC says the microwave backhaul deployment will significantly improve fixed line and mobile broadband speeds across three key provinces.

NEC was selected after a competitive tender, and as part of the deal the company will provide ongoing training and design services to Our Telekom engineers.  

Our Telekom Chief Operating Officer Keir Preedy says the carrier is committed to connecting and delivering better fixed line and mobile broadband services to consumers, schools and businesses throughout the Solomon Islands, “no matter how remote they are".

"This project is a key investment to grow the reach of broadband services and allow greater participation in the dramatic speed and latency benefits that will come with the future submarine cable. NEC Australia demonstrated that the network could be deployed within a tight schedule and budget.

“Further to proposing the best technical solution with highest transmit power hence the smallest antenna size to meet our unique weather and tower loading conditions, we valued NEC's high level of competence in providing network design and training for our engineers that will ensure we have the skills to maintain the network in future.”

“NEC is a leader in microwave systems and we’re proud our technology will be at the heart of fixed line and mobile services in the Solomon Islands,” said Dave Cooke, NEC Australia Group Manager, Social Infrastructure, David Cooke.

“We believe our proposal, supported by NEC’s class leading high capacity iPASOLINK microwave radios, offers Our Telekom the best opportunity to achieve a cost-effective and rapid deployment.”

Cooke said NEC’s microwave solutions will be central to Our Telekom’s operations over the next 10 years and will provide terrestrial fixed network capacity to carry low latency IP services for future submarine or satellite systems connecting the Solomon Islands to the rest of the world.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

 

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