Telstra wins $1.1b Defence contract

Fiona Chau
Telstra has won a A$1.1 billion ($1.14 billion) telecom service contract with Australian Department of Defence, its largest customer contract in the incumbent carrier’s history.
The six-and-a-half year contract will see Telstra help the Defence Department transform and integrate its fixed telecoms with satellite and tactical networks. 
In addition, Telstra will deploy unified communications, advanced video conferencing as well as tablet and smartphone usage to provide communications links to troops, commanders, bases and allies around the world.
“The agreement represents the largest customer undertaking in Telstra’s history and will support military operations at home and abroad,” Telstra CEO David Thodey said in a statement.
“We will create 350 new positions to help serve the contract, including recruiting some of the nation’s leading IT, network and security experts.”
Dr Peter Lawrence, CIO of the Defence Department, said the transformation of its networks was central to wider strategic reforms throughout the department.
“This partnership will deliver Defence with robust and secure information communications technology, while creating greater efficiencies and lower costs,” Lawrence said.
The Defence telecoms network includes networks at 430 sites in Australia, supporting some 100,000 users in Australia and overseas.
The transformation is expected to be completed by mid-2016, and will “significantly improve network performance and meet capability requirements to 2023,” Lawrence said.