News Release

PowerTel Ltd Upgrades Optical and Core Network with Cisco Solution

Upgrade, based on Cisco 12000 Series routers, increases network
Jun 18, 2004

SYDNEY, Australia - 18 June, 2004 - Business telecommunications specialist, PowerTel Ltd, has selected a networking solution from Cisco Systems® to upgrade its optical and core routing technology to meet growing customer demand for data services such as virtual private networks (VPNs).

The multimillion-dollar upgrade will help PowerTel increase network bandwidth and meet demand for its integrated Internet Protocol (IP)-based portfolio of products, such as metropolitan Ethernet and IP VPNs. The upgrade also follows Powertel's recent acquisition of Request, one of Australia's leading digital subscriber line (DSL) access providers.

Powertel owns and operates one of Australia's most advanced intercity optical fibre networks. Upgrading the network will enable a 400-percent increase in network capacity and will help improve network efficiency.

Ian Noble, general manager, Infrastructure, for PowerTel, said, "Powertel and Cisco® have had a strong relationship for many years. This significant network upgrade will build on that relationship, and will deliver an even more robust and scalable platform for rapid growth of the backbone network. That platform will help Powertel to meet increasing demands for data services offered nationwide ranging from 64 kilobit per second to 1 gigabit per second."

PowerTel is enhancing current long-haul transmission systems with Cisco optical and IP technology. The upgrade will enable greater efficiencies for the transport of IP services by eliminating the need for Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) encapsulation for long-distance carriage. The network upgrade is based on the deployment of the Cisco ONS Family of long-haul dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) products for intercity transmission. The optical networking upgrade is targeted to be completed end of July.

Cisco 12000 Series IP/Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) routers supporting gigabit speeds will form the core of the Powertel network. Cisco Catalyst® 6500 Series switches and Cisco 7200 Series routers will support IP and Ethernet services and enable advanced features such as IP VPNs.

Peter Papaioannou, Cisco regional sales manager, Service Provider, said, "This upgrade gives PowerTel one of the most advanced networks in Australia. It will help PowerTel to provide its customers with a wide range of IP services and help ensure that PowerTel meets the growing demand for those services."

About PowerTel

PowerTel was founded in 1998 and is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange under the PWT symbol. PowerTel is a business telecommunications specialist providing voice, data and Internet services to the corporate, government and wholesale markets of Australia. Information on PowerTel can be found at