Friday Network News: November 18

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

Level 3 has announced an expansion of its network capacity and suite of services in Mexico. The global provider has taken the step to increase its presence in the country, with its latest upgrade complementing its acquisition of Global Crossing. Level 3’s network infrastructure in Mexico connects the cities of Guadalajara, Monterrey, Mexico City and Mazatlan through a route spanning 3,484km. The system provides capacity to transport voice, data and multimedia services.

CEC Liquid Telecom, the joint venture between Copperbelt Energy Corporation and Liquid Telecom has announced that the first phase of its countrywide fibre network in Zambia is operational. The network provides broadband connectivity to mobile operators, ISPs, banks and other corporations. Phase one includes a link between Zambia’s capital Lusaka and the Zambian province of Copperbelt. The second phase of the network has also been completed and is expected to go live by the end of 2011, connecting the towns of Chirundu, Ndola, Kabwe, Chingola and Chililabombwe.

Telefonica’s UK mobile subsidiary, O2, has begun testing 4G LTE data technology in London. The trial, set to last nine months, will involve hundreds of consumers and businesses using the LTE network across different parts of the city. Over 25 4G sites will go live this month covering a combined area of 40 square miles between now and June 2012. The network has been carefully designed to cover key areas of the city, including Canary Wharf, Soho, Westminster, South Bank and Kings Cross.

Huawei has announced an agreement to take full ownership of Huawei Symantec, a joint venture that was established between the China-based vendor and Symantec Technologies in 2008. Under the terms of the deal, Huawei will invest $530 million to acquire a further 49% stake, giving it 100% ownership of the security, storage and systems management company. Based in Hong Kong, the joint venture provides customers with a range of technology solutions to tap in to a growing need for security on networks.

The Greek regulator EEET has completed the auction of frequencies in 900 and 1800MHz bands. The country raised almost €200 million from the auction in one day of bidding. Vodafone Greece acquired three blocks in 900MHz band and two in 1800MHz band for a total of €111 million, Wind Hellas acquired one block in 900MHz band for €23.3 million and Cosmote took one block in 900MHz band and two in 1800MHz band for a total €64.5 million. The operators agreed to pay €181.7 million to hold on to their existing rights in GSM bands.

Cisco has announced the completion of its acquisition of BNI Video, an IP-based video technology and video management company. BNI supplies service providers with two major video products video back-office and content delivery network (CDN) analytic capabilities. The acquisition aims to enhance the capabilities of Cisco’s Videoscape television platform while also hoping to help Cisco’s service provider customers to reduce their costs and operational complexity.

Tata announced the launch of a 40Gbps enabled service on its TGN Atlantic subsea cable from New York to London. The upgrade has been made in partnership with Ciena and the company will deploy a 6500 packet-optical platform that has 40G/100G coherent technology capability. The second phase of the deployment will bring 40G capability to Ashburn, Virginia and the rest of Europe. TGN Atlantic becomes Tata’s first subsea cable with 40G capability and the company confirmed there are plans to implement the technology to its other routes.

Qatar Telecom (Qtel) has purchased shares equivalent to a further 7.45% of StarHub, Singapore’s second largest telecoms operator. The acquisition was carried out through Asia Mobile Holdings, Qtel’s joint venture with Singapore Technologies Telemedia (STT). It is understood the transaction was completed through a share purchase agreement with Aranda Investments, a subsidiary of Singapore state investor Temasek. As a result of the deal Asia Mobile Holdings now controls 56.55% of the Singaporean operator

US cellular giant AT&T has revealed that it is launching commercial 4G LTE mobile broadband in the Puerto Rican capital, San Juan. The rollout, set to begin on 20 November, is one of six extensions into new markets AT&T has announced this month. The arrival of AT&T’s LTE service is likely to have beaten the attempt by Puerto Rico’s smallest network operator, Open Mobile to be the first to launch the 4G technology commercially on the island.

US communication services provider Paetec has been selected to complete the remaining leg of the telecommunications vendor Transtelco Texas' fibre route that runs between El Paso and Temple. Paetec will also provide routes linking the rest of central Texas. Under the arrangement, Transtelco obtains a 50% share of the Paetec route to El Paso allowing it to increase its fibre capacity and provide additional Sonet ring diversity to its client base operating across the southern US and northern Mexico. Work to complete the final El Paso-Temple route is underway and the central Texas route is expected to be available for service this year.

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