Chunghwa Plans $4B NGN

Taiwan's national operator Chunghwa Telecom Co. Ltd. (NYSE: CHT) plans to invest up to $4 billion in a new all-IP network as it migrates away from its current infrastructure, according to local reports.

In April, the carrier -- with help from consultancy McKinsey & Co. -- announced its intention to shift from its current infrastructure to a single, converged IP-based network by 2013, a process budgeted at up to 130 billion New Taiwan Dollars (US$4 billion).

The operator identified Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), Nortel Networks Ltd. , and Siemens Communications Group as potential suppliers. Juniper already has its foot in the door with a recent core router deployment. (See Chungwa Picks Juniper.)

Now, according to a report from local media outlet DigiTimes, the carrier's chairman, Tan Hochen, has earmarked NT$50 billion ($1.55 billion) for the next five years, with much of that investment focused on the buildout of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) and fiber-to-the-building (FTTB) access infrastructure that will reach 75 percent of the island's population by the end of 2011.

The operator has already named its suppliers for an upgrade of its international infrastructure, with Cisco and Nortel the main beneficiaries. (See Cisco Scores Opto Wins and Nortel Supplies Chunghwa NGN.)

It has also been investing in 3G infrastructure from Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), DSLAMs from ECI Telecom Ltd. and Alcatel, and aggregation routers from Redback Networks Inc. as it rolls out its IPTV services. (See Nokia Power Chunghwa, ECI Makes Hay in Taiwan, Europe, Chunghwa Picks Alcatel's ADSL2+ and Chunghwa Deploys Redback Gear .)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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