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Marconi Lands Telstra Deal

Marconi and its equipment partner RBN are smiling wide today as Telstra awards a deal reportedly worth $210, UPDATED 6/24, 3PM

June 23, 2004

2 Min Read
Marconi Lands Telstra Deal

CHICAGO – Supercomm 2004 – Telstra Corp. said today it has awarded Marconi an equipment deal making it the "preferred supplier for the future rollout and enhancement of its 2.5 Gbit/s optical transport network." The deal is one of the largest equipment contracts to come from a single carrier this year (see Marconi Wins Telstra SDH/WDM Contract).

The deal, reportedly worth A$300 million (US$210 million) over three years, will include Marconi's multiservice provisioning platforms (MSPPs) to help integrate Ethernet and IP capabilities into its current SDH transport network. Marconi won't specify the deal's size. "It's a pretty big number," says a Marconi spokesman.

The contract also includes Marconi's WDM products, which are boxes made by RBN Inc. and resold (see Marconi Resell's RBN's CWDM Gear).

RBN, indeed, is celebrating in a big way now that the deal has been finalized. Jim Fultz, the company's president and CEO, says RBN's gear makes up about 10 percent of the entire kit that Telstra is buying. That would give the startup A$30 million in sales over the next three years from a single contract.

The WDM vendor's chief technology officer, Richard Lauder, says RBN competed against Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE), which was reselling ADVA AG Optical Networking's (Frankfurt: ADAG.F) gear, and Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA), which came with its 1692 platform.

Last week, rumors circulated that the Telstra award was to be split equally among Alcatel, Marconi, and Siemens/ADVA. It's not clear how exactly Marconi pulled ahead.

A year ago, Marconi announced it was "one of two preferred suppliers" of 10-Gbit/s DWDM and SDH gear to Telstra, a hint that Marconi may have had an inside track as an incumbent supplier to the carrier (see Telstra Picks Marconi Gear).

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

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