NSN sues Vodafone Hutchison Australia

Dylan Bushell-Embling
15 Nov 2011

Nokia Siemens is suing Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) in a dispute over an A$8 million ($8.2 million) network performance payout.

NSN Australia has asked a court to intervene after VHA withdrew a network performance bond which NSN had set up as part of a mobile network upgrade deal, the Sydney Morning Heraldreported.

The operator had claimed the sum after announcing plans to overhaul the Vodafone Australia network using Huawei equipment, in the face of growing customer complaints over network quality and service outages. This marked the end of what was to be a seven-year supply deal with NSN.

VHA had been leaning on NSN to replenish the A$8 million bond, but an Australian court has ordered that NSN is not required to deposit the sum.

The company will also be obliged to keep A$10 million on hand until the trial is heard December 7, in case it is ordered to pay back the bond.

VHA was created in 2009 with the merger of Vodafone Australia and Hutchison Australia, owner of the 3 Australia brand. The network complaints have been centered on the Vodafone Australia brand. VHA eventually plans to merge both networks.

Earlier this year, law firm PiperAlderman started taking registrations from Vodafone Australia customers for a potential class-action lawsuit over the network quality complaints, and has so far attracted over 20,000 plaintiffs, but a court claim is yet to materialize.

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