Alcatel-Lucent network guardian will watch Telecom XT performance

The company  that bungled Telecom's XT roll-out - leading to $41 million in compo, and counting - goes on 3G guard duty.

The Franco-American company which designed the controversial XT phone network, Alcatel-Lucent, says that Telecom will now deploy the French company's "network guardian" system to tell it how the 3G network is performing.

The Alcatel-Lucent 9900 wireless network guardian (WNG) will be rolled out in Telecom's network and operations centre, which is expected to provide advanced data network intelligence,.

Alcatel-Lucent said in a statement issued in Paris that this would enable Telecom to "gain in-depth knowledge of how its subscriber devices, applications and networks are performing".

Information the system also gathers on usage of internet data on the phone network is likely to influence the choice handsets, help diagnose "user issues" and help keep network expansion cost effective.

Bungled roll-out
In January and February last year, Telecom's new 3G mobile network suffered a series of damaging, widespread outages,and Telecom complained about components of the network Alcatel-Lucent designed and built.

At the time, speculation focused on whether and how much Telecom would obtain in compensation from Alcatel-Lucent, whose global chief executive Ben Verwaayen flew to New Zealand in May to hold personal talks with Telecom chief Paul Reynolds.

The French company later disclosed in financial reports that the dispute was settled without an admission of liability.

The amount of compensation which changed hands was not disclosed, but the Alcatel-Lucent accounts made it clear a payment was involved, as "the cost will be split between the Alcatel Lucent group delivering units and Alcatel Lucent New Zealand".

A report later said the server failures of the XT network undermined market confidence in the network, which had not been able to manage the forecast traffic volumes.

Failure of the Christchurch radio network controller led to a partial failure of the network in the southern region of New Zealand.

Today Alcatel-Lucent said that a massive influx of internet applications and devices, combined with millions of subscribers on the move between cell sites, was creating a new era of mobile and broadband data for Telecom.

"The 9900 WNG gives Telecom NZ a greater level of control and predictability for stronger network performance," said the president of Alcatel-Lucent's activities in Asia-Pacific, Rajeev Singh-Molares.

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