UCG WINS BID FOR WORLD BANK SUPPORTED CONTRACT TO BRING FIBRE CONNECTIVITY TO ISOLATED PACIFIC ISLANDS
Universal Communications Group (UCG) has achieved a major win by being awarded a tender to
deliver critical telecommunications infrastructure to the Federated States of Micronesia in a project
supported by the World Bank. UCG will design a Fibre to the Home network in the three main
islands of Yap, Pohnpei and the Kosrae States of Micronesia, a project which UCG Group CEO
Muralee Siva describes as a “game-changer” for the Pacific nation.
The Federated States of Micronesia is an archipelago of 607 islands covering 2.6 million sq km just
north of the equator in the western Pacific Ocean. UCG is one of New Zealand and Australia’s
leading suppliers of a range of broadband design and construction services, particularly for next
generation broadband networks. The contract was tendered by Federated States of Micronesia
Telecommunications Cable (FSMT Cable), supported by grant funding from the World Bank.
FSMT Cable is an open access wholesale only infrastructure provider and is a key part of the FSM
Government’s strategy to unlock the digital potential of the nation. “This is a way of introducing new
players into our market to make sure that there’s competition, that there are options for our citizens
in the telecommunications field,” stated FSM President David Panuelo. “We’re confident that this is
going to definitely benefit our citizens.” he added.
“Expanding access to world class telecommunications services will promote private sector
investment in digital services and establish the critical foundations for digital government services
and the digital economy for this country of 105,000 people,” Mr Siva said.
“Providing connectivity to households, businesses, schools and government will facilitate
unconstrained access to the recent investments in undersea fibre connectivity between FSM and
the wider world. This is a fantastic initiative for the people of FSM and we believe it is a very
effective model for other, equally resource-challenged Pacific nations,” Mr Siva said.
“The recent COVID-19 crisis has also highlighted the need for improved telecommunications to
support people working in isolation as well as supporting expanding economies throughout the
region. Importantly, COVID-19 will be no barrier to the implementation of this project because our
skilled management team have developed systems and processes that enable remote training for
the FSM local team in the prerequisite skills required to deliver a successful deployment of the UCG
designed FTTH (Fibre To The Home) networks. This skills transfer is a vital component of building
local capability for the operation and future expansion of local networks,” Mr Siva said.
“The project underscores our UCG values of innovation, team-work and integrity which have been
recognised in the awarding of this contract. We are extremely proud of the work of our Australian
and New Zealand teams who have combined their expertise to deliver a great outcome for this
small Pacific nation,” Mr Siva said.
Universal Communications Group (UCG) has established a new Smart Cities Business Unit to
support growing demand for services outside the traditional telecommunication markets and has
appointed Ian Hatton as the General Manager Smart Cities to support the growth in the smart city
space. UCG Group CEO, Muralee Siva, said “The establishment of the new Business Unit is the
next logical step for UCG which reflects the growing demand for smart city solutions, including
remote working, automation, near real-time information and always-on technologies. We are
excited to have Ian, who is one of the pre-eminent leaders in this field, join our experienced
Executive Team as part of the Group’s continued growth”.
Mr Hatton was responsible for the implementation of Australia’s largest IoT network in one of South
East Queensland’s largest and leading councils, delivering financial, environmental and economic
benefits, including smart metering for a local water utility over a large-scale LoRaWAN network and
cutting edge, cloud-based data analytics and data science tools.
Mr Hatton has also led the construction of a new council-owned optical fibre network which was a
key enabler to successfully hosting one of the biggest major international sporting events ever held
in Queensland, and achieving capacity increases and substantial direct and indirect financial
benefits. The network also supports the operation of the largest free public Wi-Fi network in
Australian local government, realising millions of dollars in direct and indirect benefits for over 2
million users to date.
This new Business Unit builds on UCG’s 25 years of telecommunications experience, and reflects
the global shift towards smart city investments.
“The recent COVID-19 crisis has significantly accelerated the work from home and smart city
agendas. We believe that the continued move towards smart technologies and remote working will
gather pace in the coming years, requiring enhanced underlying telecommunications networks and
integration across previously separate operating environments” said Mr Siva.
Universal Communications Group Pty Ltd (UCG) Executive Chairman recently announced the signing of a 9 + 3 year contract to design, build and operate and maintain all ENE.HUB infrastructure assets in the Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific region. The arrangement formalises long standing existing relationships and will see UCG design, construct, maintain and support ENE.HUB’s Smart City infrastructure throughout the region. UCG delivers innovative telecommunications solutions and is a leading broadband communications network infrastructure specialist, operating across Australia and New Zealand, servicing key broadband operators such as NBN Co Ltd and Chorus Ltd.
ENE.HUB is a fully owned subsidiary of listed Canadian-based, Brookfield Infrastructure Partners – a leading global infrastructure company that owns and operates long-life assets in the utilities, transport, energy and data infrastructure sectors across North and South America, Asia Pacific and Europe. ENE.HUB plans, funds, builds, maintains and manages connected networks of SMART.NODES – the most advanced enabler of Smart City Services available today.
UCG Executive Chairman, Ralf Luna stated “I am delighted and proud that UCG has been selected by ENE.HUB as its strategic deployment and operations and maintenance partner. We have been working with ENE.HUB for a number of years and recognise the ground-breaking initiatives the company is offering the Smart City community.” Mr. Luna added “The long-term commitment to UCG that ENE.HUB have made is also a reflection on how well-regarded UCG is within the industry.”
ENE.HUB Co-CEO Scott Williams also stated “we are elated to have an organisation such as UCG on board as part of the ENE.HUB team. After an extensive procurement process, UCG were clearly our best option and we look forward to developing our collaborative relationship with them even further over the coming decade. This agreement will provide further confidence to our customers that the world leading Smart City infrastructure and services that ENE.HUB provide will be maintained and operated at levels beyond their expectation.”
UCG and ENE.HUB have collaborated on a number of SMART.NODE deployments and some of these include: • Sydney Royal Botanical Gardens (NSW) • Geelong Foreshore (VIC) • Moreton Bay Council (QLD)
In addition to the design and construction of SMART.NODE deployments, UCG will commence the operation and management of all SMART.NODES currently in service across Australia for ENE.HUB’s clients. https://www.ucg.com.au https://ene-hub.com
The recent successful acquisition of the latest, globally recognised health and safety certification, ISO 45001, was proof of UCG’s total dedication” to the highest possible safety standards, according to UCG’s CEO, Muralee Siva.
The latest ISO certification is the fourth achieved by UCG in the areas of health, safety, environmental and quality standards, with ISO 14001, ISO 9001 and AS/NZS 4801 having been achieved shortly after business inception.
“The most recent certification means the trans-Tasman operations of UCG now qualify for quadruple ISO certifications – a rare achievement in today’s business environment”, Mr. Siva said.
“We were delighted with the integrated audit process, with the external auditor reporting zero nonconformances “, he said.
“It has been a massive investment by the company and a particularly arduous process for all the UCG team, but especially our committed certification/accreditation team – and it has all been worthwhile”.
Mr. Siva said UCG’s clients and customers could take great comfort from this achievement and it demonstrates the maturity and robustness of health, safety, environmental and quality systems across the entire UCG Group.
Mr. Siva congratulated the UCG team, which was led by Group Compliance Manager, Scott Dunmore.
“Scott and the UCG team’s efforts across both Australia and New Zealand will benefit our entire business ecosystem”, he said.
“I am very proud of the team’s achievement, which reinforces the high standards of service delivery UCG are renowned for”, Mr. Siva said.
About UCG: Universal Communications Group (UCG) is one of New Zealand and Australia’s leading suppliers of a range of broadband design, cabling and construction services, particularly for next generation cable networks. For 20 years, UCG has provided innovative fulfilment solutions to the telecommunications sector.
The benefits of using public transport have been enhanced by the recent rollout of a fibre connection project for Auckland Transport, managed and installed by telecommunications fibre services provider Universal Communications Group (UCG).
The installation of fibre connectivity at 123 public transport locations throughout Auckland has expanded bandwidth capabilities for commuters and enabled a pathway for improved internet services for commuters in the future. The successful conclusion of the project will deliver faster, more reliable and consistent connectivity.
It has also enhanced the city’s safety, augmenting the capability of the city’s 3000 CCTV cameras monitoring bus stops, train stations, ferry terminals, public transport interchanges and traffic movements on major roads.
The project involved Auckland Transport as the client, with Chorus contracting UCG to manage, design and deliver all of the fieldworks, including installation of the fibre. Local company Fusion Networks Ltd provided the network services. The video available here outlines how the project was delivered.
“Complex technology projects are challenging, especially when they involve multiple parties working together to bring their expertise to the right point at the right time,” said Roger Crellin, Executive General Manager of UCG in New Zealand.
“This project involved creating bespoke designs, with each location requiring its own design solution. Rolling out the delivery of so many fibre installations in public locations in a short time frame required significant up front planning. It was further complicated by the interrupation of Lockdown Level 3 and 4 as the installation was just getting under way,” Mr Crellin said.
“This is a great example of how different providers within the telecommunications sector can work together to deliver a highly complex design and installation project within a short time frame, under extremely trying conditions,” said Mr Crellin.
“I am very proud of the leadership shown by our UCG Design team, our Project Managers and our installation services to deliver this very important project to the people of Auckland,” he said.
UCG is delighted to announce an extension to its UFB2 and UFB2+ contract with Chorus to 31st March 2022 and a continuance of the successful UFB1 contract, providing subcontracted Delivery Partners with security of future workflow at this uncertain time.
Chief Executive of UCG, Muralee Siva, said today that UCG is delighted to further cement what has been a successful and long-standing relationship with Chorus and the New Zealand public in the delivery of the Ultra Fast Broadband initiative.
“The announcement of this extension comes at a very good time, both for UCG and for our Delivery Partners, as it delivers sustainability and longevity of works to the whole delivery chain, as we navigate the fallout of the COVID19 pandemic,” said Mr Siva.
“We moved early to adapt our business to the new conditions imposed by the Covid19 outbreak. This included new safety protocols for staff, ensuring appropriate supplies of PPE were available and adapting our works processes, to ensure households are kept safe during their installation to the Chorus UFB network,” Mr Siva said.
“This agreement to extend our contract will allow us to focus further on the types of innovative projects that have characterised our most recent engagement with Chorus, such as the upgrade to UFB for Auckland Transport’s CCTV smart-sites.”
Andrew Carroll, Chorus’ GM Customer & Network Operations said, “Now more than ever, Chorus has a critical role to play in getting New Zealanders connected to the best possible broadband. “We’re pleased to be extending our close relationship with UCG, so they can continue their valuable work in connecting homes and businesses across the country to our fibre network. They have played a significant role in connecting the many of the 800,000 plus fibre connections we have built in the last four years,” Mr Carroll said.
On January 2nd, 2019 the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads – Metropolitan Region, announced (via Tenders.Net) the award to UCG of a contract to undertake an audit, compile a database of optical fibre network assets, and perform functions of maintenance and ongoing repair works.
Busways provide a form of bus rapid transit, comprising separated bus-only corridors, complementing the region’s rail network to provide faster, more efficient bus services to residents of South East Queensland. As a coordinator of South East Queensland’s integrated public transport system, the client maintains responsibility for the busway facilities. These facilities are supported by intelligent transport systems that require high-speed transmission of information from one site to another through a network of optical fibre cables. The considerable existing optical fibre network have been installed progressively as the busway infrastructure expanded over many years.
Recognising that the current optical fibre records do not allow the required visibility to most effectively operate and maintain the optical fibre network Assets, the Department called for tenders in mid-2018.
UCG was awarded the contract and is required to undertake an audit, compile a database of the optical fibre network assets, and undertake regular maintenance and repair works.
UCG CEO Ralf Luna stated, “UCG is very proud to have been chosen by the Department to establish a system to manage and support the Busways fibre optic network. It is a welcome endorsement of our growing asset management and service assurance capability. We have been focusing on supporting local and state government for some time now and this project highlights many of the things UCG is capable of.”
UCG are one of the leading suppliers in the Australia-New Zealand region, of a range of broadband design, cabling and construction services, particularly for next generation cable networks.
Media contact: Rafael Luna
Phone: +61 4 1342 6111
First published in: 9News
Move over Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane – the Gold Coast is leading the way with major infrastructure projects to rival work in the nation’s capitals.
The city’s now boasting the fastest internet in the country, thanks to a fibre-optic cable that was installed for the Commonwealth Games.
“It’s almost got unlimited capacity to move data around the city,” Digital City Program Manager Ian Hatton said.
The cable’s fibre count provides internet 10times faster than the NBN. It’s a major coup for the city’s Mayor Tom Tate who boasted: “We’re way ahead of the game”.
The fibre-optic cable runs 45 kilometres and has been installed to make the Games the safest in history.
“The CCTV camera network for the Games is doubling in size and everything’s moving to high definition,” Mr Hatton said.
It will allow real-time, live-streaming of events but Mr Hatton believes the real benefit will be after the games.
Fifty thousand businesses are expected to connect and residents will also have access to free public Wi-Fi.
The fibre-optic cable runs along the light rail route – another project that’s pushed the city forward since it first took off in 2014.
“This type of infrastructure is all about supporting future growth,” according to Jason Ward from G:link.
There’s now 19 stations from Helensvale to Broadbeach and it takes just 45 minutes to travel from either end of the Coast.
Upwards of 800,000 people use G:link every month and it’s expected during the Games close to a million people will use the city’s newest mode of transport.
“The G will be a big carrier of those people,” Mr Ward said.
© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2018
A number of UCG’s New Zealand management team recently attended Chorus’s annual “Service Person of the Year” (SPOTY) awards for the 2016 period.
It is an event where Chorus recognises the excellence of a number of front-line people across its four service companies (UCG, Visionstream, Broadspectrum and Downer). This was the first time UCG attended, and we were very well received by our peers and customer. UCG’s Consents Team were recognised by Chorus as the TEAM OF THE YEAR. We see this as an awesome recognition and our team as well-deserved inaugural winners of this award. Chorus’ Mark Mayerhofler, who works closely with UCG’s Consents Team, stated “…very well deserved recognition, we are all really proud of your achievement here.”
UCG nominated Cellwatch as our delivery partner team of the year for service excellence which was endorsed by Chorus and presented as part of their awards. Amando Tanquintic accepted the award on behalf of Cellwatch.
It is always great to celebrate excellence and success, and look forward to ensuring more celebration at next year’s awards.
For further information contact Paul Trotman on (NZ) 0800 961 223.
UCG has again been successfully placed in the BRW Fast 100 List of fastest-growing Australian companies for 2016. This is the third year in a row UCG has achieved this a distinction with a rank of 18th out of 100 – the same as 2015.
The BRW Fast 100 list has for 27 years ranked Australia’s fastest growing, public and private, small and medium businesses. The annual list has established a strong reputation as being the premier guide to the fastest growing small and medium businesses in Australia.
CEO Ralf Luna said: “The last three years has seen fantastic growth for the company and I want to once again thank all the people of UCG for their considerable efforts in getting us to this position. We are very proud to have received this recognition. It’s the good performance of our people that contributes to our success.”
The full list of the BRW Fast 100 achievers can be found at http://www.afr.com/leadership/brw-lists/fast-100/brw-fast-100-2016-20161116-gsqydz