Australia's Telstra wins $1.1 billion defense contract

CANBERRA Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:24pm EDT

A woman uses a Telstra public phone in suburban Sydney, August 9, 2012. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz

A woman uses a Telstra public phone in suburban Sydney, August 9, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Daniel Munoz

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CANBERRA (Reuters) - Telecommunications company Telstra (TLS.AX) has secured a A$1.1 billion ($1.1 billion), six-year contract to overhaul communications for Australia's Defense Department, improving links between terrestrial, satellite and tactical networks.

Telstra said the contract to link the defense department's civilian and military telecommunications needs into a single high-speed network will create 350 new jobs, with work to be carried out at 430 Defense sites across Australia.

Telstra beat rival telecommunication company Optus, a unit of Singapore Telecommunications (STEL.SI), as well as IT supplier Fujitsu (6702.T) for the contract.

Australia's Defense Department is planning a series of major technology upgrades for ageing desktop technology as well as data transmission and networks. ($1 = 0.9702 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Rob Taylor; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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