Australian rural carrier Field Solutions Holdings (FSG) has selected Nokia and Mavenir as its primary technology vendors to build Australia’s fourth mobile network.
As part of the deal, the technology partners will supply 4G and 5G radio access networks and the mobile core network. Mavenir will provide 4G/5G Converged Packet core, as well as IMS voice and messaging services.
FSG plans to deliver 4G and 5G services in rural, regional and remote areas of the country. FSG will also be delivering private 4G LTE and 5G service offerings. FSG, has secured 5G spectrum holdings to ensure that rural, regional and remote Australia is not left behind in the rollout of 5G services.
FSG CEO Andrew Roberts, said FSG’s 5G service will cover 85% of Australia’s landmass.
“FSG has run a comprehensive 6-month RFP process to select the most appropriate technology partners for the rollout of the Regional Australia Network. FSG has selected these partners to ensure we have the cost-effective, future proof and globally proven technology platform needed to deliver Australia’s 4th mobile network.”
“The demand for private 4G and 5G networks is gaining momentum, FSG will be delivering cost-effective, carrier-grade private solutions for agri-business, mining and government. We expect to be announcing several private 4G and 5G private network deployments in the coming weeks,” said FSG CEO Andrew Roberts.
“Together with our new partners, Nokia and Mavenir, FSG is primed to deliver connectivity to regions, whilst offering capability for carriers to join the solution using Active Neutral host RAN, inbound roaming or ‘old school’ passive co-location on our purpose-built infrastructure,” Roberts added.
By embracing new models, the cost to deliver these solutions can be kept to a minimum, further supporting the committee’s desire to ensure that affordability is not forgotten. FSG are in the process of delivering 19 new place-based networks across Australia. These networks, comprising over 100 sites, each of which will be 4G and 5G capable, Neutral Host and Roaming ready when delivered in FY 23/24. “The Regional Australia Network is a dedicated network supporting rural Australia. Today, we operate Australia’s largest non-NBN fixed wireless network, which delivers fixed wireless broadband across rural, regional and remote Australia. The Regional Australia Network (RAN(TM)) will see these current and all new networks being enabled to delivery 4G and 5G data and voice services, fixed wireless broadband together with NB-IoT and CatM1 services”, Roberts stated.
FSG also said that the company is in the process of delivering 19 new “place-based” networks across Australia. These networks comprise more than 100 sites, each of which will be 4G and 5G capable, neutral host and roaming-ready when delivered in fiscal year 2023/24.
Anna Perrin, Nokia’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, said, “As a world-leading provider of mobile technology, we have championed the development of Neutral Host networks around the world and we’re excited to bring this global expertise to our partnership with FSG. Supporting the creation of new and innovative solutions and business models for rural and remote coverage across Australia.”
“Mavenir is excited to partner with FSG to deliver a cost-effective, future proof and globally proven 4G/5G Cloud-native Converged Packet Core, IMS and messaging services to enable Australia’s 4th mobile network,” said Dereck Quinlan, Mavenir regional VP.
“Mavenir continues to drive forward with advanced cloud-native solutions that our customers and the industry recognise. Our Cloud-native Converged Packet Core solution embraces a disruptive technology architecture and business model that drive network agility, deployment flexibility, and service velocity,” Quinlan added.
Over the next 18 months, FSG, in partnership with the Australian Federal Government and mobile operator Optus, will be trialing the deployment of what it says is Australia’s first “Active Neutral Host” network. The neutral-host model enables FSG to build and operate infrastructure and a single set of electronics that all mobile network operators in Australia can utilize and will be ready for PSMB services, the company says.
“The more carriers subscribe to the model, the more valuable and impactful it is for Australian Rural communities and Australia as a whole. We look forward to welcoming the other Australian Carriers to the program, to make the neutral host model a reality for rural, regional and remote Australia,” Roberts added.