Vodafone's Backhaul Overhaul

1:50 PM -- Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) is gung ho for Ethernet backhaul. The operator has launched a major initiative to revamp its backhaul networks across 10 countries, and it's using Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA)'s 8600 managed edge system to do the job.

And in case you hadn't noticed, there's a podcast here that details the whole project.

Here's the deal: Vodafone is moving from legacy TDM and ATM transport to an IP-enabled, Ethernet-based network to carry 3G voice and data traffic using Tellabs's pseudowire-enabled system. (See BT Uses Tellabs for Ethernet Backhaul.)

The operator has already deployed the 8600 in Ireland and plans to roll it out in nine other countries over the next 12 months. Ireland will be the benchmark for the project and will help Vodafone to demonstrate the overall business case. (See Carriers Don't Trust Ethernet Backhaul? and Carriers Face Backhaul Conundrum.)

If the promised cost efficiencies are realized then this is the kind of project that will catch the eye of Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao, who just today announced sweeping cost-cutting measures as the operator hunkers down for a dire economic period. (See Vodafone Adjusts to Hard Times .)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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