Christchurch-based ARM solutions provider, Bluewater Systems, has recently completed a deal with the principality of Bhutan, nestled in the Himalayan mountain range, to provide a DDS-XM100 digital storage solution.
CEO Sarosh Dubash says the deal came about through another local company based in Auckland that was dealing with Bhutan Telecom. He declined to say who the company was.
“They made the initial contact with Bhutan Telecom and I then followed up through my contacts in Asia.”
Dubash says Bhutan Telecom chose Bluewater Technology because the company could offer a simple system at a competitive price.
“Other companies were presenting systems that were far more complex and expensive.”
The DDS-XM100 units are to replace outdated magnetic tape units that have been used for more than 20 years as the primary back up storage for the country’s entire fixed-line telephone infrastructure. The units will also provide network-based remote access to all of Bhutan’s telephone exchanges.
He also says the technology suited the geography of Bhutan.
The country has a population of less than 700,000 people spread over an area roughly the size of Switzerland and is noted for the extreme nature of most of its terrain.
To date, data back up for Bhutan’s eight local switches and 12 remote exchanges had been on the magnetic tape units, with the tapes being transported from remote areas to the central exchange by a Lama (Bhutanese monk) with some parts of the journey on foot or donkey.
The DDS units can be networked to remove the need to transport the data physically, but also have flash memory storage that enables the data to be loaded onto small 1GB removable SD (secure digital) cards.
Originally developed for NEC to replace legacy MTU storage systems in telephone exchanges throughout New Zealand, Bluewater has further developed the DDS products to be compatible with a wider range of exchange systems.
Dubash says the company has also received orders for the units from the Philippines and Tanzania. The units are attracting interest from countries in South America too.
“These deals take time because we are often dealing with big communication companies, usually divisions of Telecom, who take awhile to make decisions but are under pressure to deliver modern technology to their populations.”
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