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Vodafone replacing 8000 network sites

Signs up Huawai to help it deliver on 18 month network upgrade project

Vodafone has signed up Huawai to help it replace all its 2G and 3G radio access equipment across its entire Australian network as part of its major network improvement initiative.

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According to a statement from the telco, Vodafone will target areas of highest demand first as it seeks to upgrade some 8000 sites in a project estimated to take 18 months.

The telco will use Huawei’s SingleRAN hardware which can deliver 2G, 3G and Long Term Evolution (LTE) signals from a single base station site. It will also use the vendor’s network equipment at more than 2200 new base station sites.

The new network equipment will allow Vodafone to offer a maximum theoretical speed of 42MBps. LTE trials carried out by Vodafone late last year delivered download speeds of 74.3 Mbps under test conditions.

The telco is also working with Huawei on an LTE network upgrade which will to deliver maximum theoretical speeds of up to 150Mbps.

The upgrade project will see Huawei recruit 300 new technical staff in Australia, as well as an expected 200 additional subcontractors, which will more than double Huawei’s current number of staff in Australia.

According to Vodafone CEO, Nigel Dews, the upgrade was the result of customer feedback on the telco’s network.

“We’re installing the latest technology from the company that we believe is the best network hardware and software vendor in the world to deliver a better mobile experience to our customers,” Dews said in a statement.

“I’d like to thank our customers for giving us such detailed feedback on our network over the last few months. We’re now using our customers’ insights and recommendations to improve our network performance.”

The new of the upgrade follows reports of poor service, weak network coverage and a growing class action law suit.

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