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Australia awards Telstra A$1B deal for terrestrial comms services

Australian Armed Forces Telstra Joint Project 2047
Illustration: Australian defense ministry photo

The Australian defense department has awarded Telstra a contract worth over A$1 billion to continue the delivery of network and telecommunications services in support of defense operations.

The contract will extend and refresh the terrestrial communications services contract with Telstra for five years.

These services support the capabilities delivered under Joint Project 2047, a multi-phased project designed to improve defense networked communications infrastructure, which has recently reached final operating capability.

These enhancements to Defence’s communications systems have transformed defense network infrastructure and mobility communication platforms, delivering enhanced network performance and resilience as well as voice, video and other collaborative tools and services.

The capability delivered through Joint Project 2047 and the partnership with Telstra has been instrumental in supporting various defense operations, including operation Bushfire Assist and COVID-19.

According to Telstra, the agreement will deliver increased wireless coverage through a dedicated Wi-Fi 6 rollout program and the introduction of a 5G mobile network capability (where available) for defense personnel. It will also involve the introduction of full SDWAN and SDN capabilities to provide more flexible, self-healing and predictive network capabilities.

The services provided through this new contract will allow Australian armed forces greater agility to meet increasing demand on telecommunications services, ensure capabilities are kept modern, drawing on the latest technology and securing the department from the pervasive cyber threat.

The contract also represents significant opportunities for Australian industry, in particular, Australian small and medium enterprises and indigenous companies.