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Vodafone NZ completes international optical network upgrade

Vodafone New Zealand has announced the completion of its six-month project to upgrade its entire international optical network. 

The project enables a dedicated, resilient and diverse set of internet pathways upon which international data can be transferred at millisecond speed, the telecommunications company says.

This means Vodafone NZ is now the only operator in New Zealand offering exclusive-use optical capacity across all three international fibre optic cables - Tasman Global Access (TGA), Southern Cross and Hawaiki - providing a service that large organisations are increasingly using to enable dedicated, high speed and high capacity data transfer between countries.

“Data transfer is increasingly important in today’s inter-connected world, and organisations like banks and government agencies need to know their data is transferred via reliable and resilient pathways," explains Andrew McDonald, head of wholesale, at Vodafone New Zealand. 

"New Zealanders are consuming around 40% more data every year and so businesses need to plan for future growth in applications," he says.

“This rebuild of our international optical network offers a step-change in how we can manage internet traffic, connecting all three major submarine cables linking New Zealand with Australia, the South Pacific and North America.

“This is important for applications like video calling, where enterprises need to transmit video from thousands of online conference calls between locations across New Zealand and Sydney in millisecond speed," McDonald says.

"No one likes lags or buffering delays, and this new technology increases capacity on our international fibre optic technology," he says.

“This international optical fibre network is another great example where sensible infrastructure sharing can make sense, enabling us to wholesale services to other industry participants so that they can then in turn provide great retail services to customers.”

Matt Vesperman, managing director for Ciena Australia and New Zealand, says Vodafone and Ciena have been working closely to complete the network upgrade using the 6500 Converged Packet Optical platform.

“The eruption of the global content economy has made programmable optical networks critical in meeting user demands especially across borders,” he says.

“Ciena’s proven track record in coherent technology innovation enables Vodafone to deliver high levels of performance and accelerate innovation.”

 Last week Vodafone New Zealand pledged its support for InternetNZ's action plan for digital inclusion. 

Jason Paris, Vodafone NZ CEO, says there is a growing digital divide in terms of affordability and inequity in Aotearoa, which has been exacerbated by the impacts of Covid-19. 

"Use of digital tools and services has been accelerated, and the ability to get online is now almost as essential as running water," he says.

"While telcos offer a range of low-cost mobile and broadband plans and New Zealand is well-served for internet, the growing strain on people's finances is evident so we support InternetNZ’s five point plan for digital inclusion outlining the need for government to place a greater focus on supporting Aotearoa’s most vulnerable citizens.

"Addressing digital exclusion is a broader societal challenge that we all need to collaborate on," says Paris.

"Our Vodafone Foundation is working to improve the lives of New Zealanders via a 10 year commitment to halving the number of disadvantaged youth in Aotearoa. We’re concentrating our efforts on funding innovative and holistic strategies via our community partners, supporting the most excluded and disadvantaged to make the biggest impact."