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AUSTRALIA'S ST. GEORGE BANK DEPLOYS NORTEL NETWORK.

St. George (ASX: SGB), Australia's fifth largest bank and a top 15 Australian Stock Exchange company, has deployed a high- speed Nortel (NYSE/TSX: NT) network to provide more reliable communications between its head office and business continuity sites.

The new network replaces the Bank's legacy data network and was chosen from a list of competing vendors following a comprehensive tender and trial process conducted last year.

"As part of our customer experience development we launched a CRM project in Q4 2005 that required an overhaul of our existing network to function optimally," said John Loebenstein, group executive information technology, St. George. "Not only did we need vastly increased bandwidth to support new CRM and other applications, but - given the type of traffic we were going to run over the network, including voice and video - we needed sub-second failover recovery to minimise any effect on customers in the event of a system failure."

"New applications like video conferencing and VoIP put a much greater emphasis on the reliability and resiliency of the network infrastructure because of the added stresses they put on available bandwidth," said Paul Bristow, St. George's executive manager, IT network services. "In Nortel, we found a solution that gives us the high levels of performance we need to maintain a consistent top level of customer service. Nortel's technology is based on open standards, which allow us to continue building leading networks while retaining the freedom of choice in vendors."

Optus, Australia's second-largest telecommunications carrier, and Nortel nPower channel partner implemented the network. Optus has been a long-term network services provider for St. George Bank, which includes managed services for the Bank's DWDM core optical network.

Nortel's solution for St. George comprises a 10 Gigabit Optical Metro 5200 fibre-optic platform connecting St. George's main production and business continuity sites in Sydney. A pair of Nortel Ethernet Routing Switch 8600s is deployed at each site, providing sub-second failover through split multi-level trunking (SMLT) technology. Further 8600s are also used to connect the Bank's 400-plus servers across more than 300 branches nationwide. Optus implemented the network in its capacity as a Nortel channel partner, and also runs the optical core network as a managed service for the Bank. The new network was built in less than eight weeks, including the time taken to decommission and dismantle the legacy network. In its first four months of operation, the network exceeded its five-nine uptime target, with simulations confirming actual throughput speeds nearing the network's 10 Gigabit rating.

Mark Stevens, president, Australia and New Zealand, Nortel, said: "Converging technologies onto a single network infrastructure puts the onus on the reliability of the network to maintain data integrity and optimally balance available bandwidth. We work closely with our technology and implementation partners to build resilient converged networks on the foundation of a strong data network infrastructure designed to deliver the benefits of convergence without impacting the end-user experience."

About Nortel

Nortel is a recognized leader in delivering communications capabilities that enhance the human experience, ignite and power global commerce, and secure and protect the world's most critical information. Our next-generation technologies, for both service providers and enterprises, span access and core networks, support multimedia and business-critical applications, and help eliminate today's barriers to efficiency, speed and performance by simplifying networks and connecting people with information. Nortel does business in more than 150 countries.

For more information, visit http://www.nortel.com or call 425/450-7523.
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Publication:Networks Update
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Apr 1, 2006
Words:571
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