Friday Network News: January 20

20 January 2012

Capacity brings you the latest network news. If you have network developments you’d like us to share, please email robert.anderson@capacitymedia.com or tweet us @capacitymag.

Telecel Zimbabwe is planning to invest $70 million in 2012 to expand and upgrade its GSM and 3G mobile networks, including a fibre-optic backbone infrastructure project. The investment will include the roll-out of 300 base stations with the aim of enhancing coverage and capacity in all Zimbabwe’s major cities. The company will also be upgrading switching capacity to cope with an expected rise in subscribers from 1.24 million in 2011, to 2.5 million by the end of 2012.

Huawei Marine Networks, the joint venture established by Huawei and Global Marine Systems, has announced the signing of a construction contract for Hibernia Atlantic’s Global Financial Network (GFN) route, Project Express. The route will provide connectivity between New York and London using 40G technology with further upgrades to 100G planned in the future. The system will use a minimum of four fibre pairs in a repeatered submarine cable. Huawei Marine Networks recently completed the first phase of the project’s marine survey work and is now manufacturing the necessary cables and wet paint. For the article click here.

Caribbean operator Digicel is to shut down the Jamaican network of Claro, following the removal of the condition that it would have to maintain the network for its merger with the company. Digicel will shut down Claro’s network from March 1, and will be inviting customers to migrate to its own network. Digicel’s acquisition of Claro’s Jamaican operations was part of a larger exchange of businesses last year between it and Claro’s owner América Móvil.

The first subsea cable to reach Iraq has landed with the Iraqi Telecommunications and Post Company (ITPC) at Al Faw. The cable should significantly increase broadband penetration across Iraq, which currently stands at less than 3%. It is part of the GBI Cable System, which will connect all the countries in the Gulf. Qatar, the UAE, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia will be linked in a self-healing ring configuration, designed to provide maximum protection from cable cuts. The cable also connects eastward to Mumbai, India and westwards to Sicily, Italy. For the article click here.

Construction has begun on the replacement for GlobeNet’s Segment 5 subsea cable system, which links to Bermuda and the US. The cable is being replaced by TE SubCom, which constructed the original Segment 5 in 1997. The replacement 1,350km cable is designed to support 150 wavelengths per fibre-pair at 100Gbps per wavelength, giving a total design capacity of 30Tbps. It is claimed that the cable will provide more than 30 times the current capacity between Bermuda and the US. For the article click here.

Xconnect and global internet exchange, DE-CIX, have agreed an exclusive partnership for what is claimed to be Germany’s first next-generation VoIP traffic exchange. The agreement will involve the creation of a secure federation hub and a routing and management platform for the market. The exchange will target services at fixed, mobile, ASP and Web 2.0 operators and will offer end-to-end connectivity on an all-IP basis.

Airtel Ghana has launched HSPA+ services in the country offering maximum download speeds of 21Mbps. Local sources report that Airtel Ghana’s MD, Philip Sowah, said the company will deploy approximately 300 additional cell sites across the country within the next three months to boost accessibility of mobile broadband internet. He also said that the company is looking at increasing its 3G coverage by 50%.

Huawei has been selected by Nigerian operator, Zoda Fones, to build what is claimed to be Africa’s first TD LTE commercial network. The network will cover the Nigerian capital, Abuja, and its surrounding areas. Zoda Fones’ TD LTE network will use Huawei’s end-to-end singleRAN TD LTE solution, consisting of a radio access network and core network solutions. For the article click here.

Topics: Huawei Marine Networks, GBI, GlobeNet, Xconnect, Digicel, Claro