Friday Network News: December 16

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

Sea Fibre Networks (SFN) has begun laying its new subsea connection between Ireland and the UK. The company said the CeltixConnect cable will provide the shortest, fastest route between the two countries. SFN claimed that the cable will assist the development of latency-sensitive vertical sectors, such as Ireland’s digital services industry, and support the growth of data-driven applications like cloud computing, online gaming, social media and mobile data services. For more click here.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has allocated 20Mhz of spectrum to four mobile operators, Celcom Axiata,, Maxis and U Mobile and three WiMAX players, Packet One, Redtone International, and YTL Communications. 30 MHz of 2.6 GHz spectrum was given to Puncak Semangat and Asiaspace was given 10 MHz of spectrum.

BT’s Openreach subsidiary has announced the addition of 178 exchanges to its fibre deployment programme. The exchanges are expected to be enabled in 2012, covering 1.8 million homes and businesses. Once the upgrade programme is completed, Openreach claims it will have completed 80% of its fibre footprint. Openreach also claims that its mainstream fibre broadband product will offer speeds of 40Mbps and that it expects these speeds to double in 2012. For more click here.

Pegaso PCS, the Mexican subsidiary of Telefonica, has agreed to sell around 2,500 towers to the American Tower Corporation in a $500 million deal. Subject to regulatory approval, American Tower expects to acquire the assets before the end of 2011. The company has been actively pursuing new opportunities in a number of emerging markets over the past year, and now operates 40,000 communications sites in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ghana, India, Mexico, Peru and South Africa as well as its native US. For more click here.

Uruguayan service provider Antel has partnered with Alcatel-Lucent to deliver what is claimed to be the first LTE network in a Latin American country. The service will initially be available in Montevideo and Punta del Este and will be expanded to provide additional coverage in neighbouring regions. For the project, Alcatel Lucent is providing an end-to-end LTE solution including base stations, IP wireless evolved packet operations and maintenance services. For more click here.

LIME, the Caribbean business of Cable and Wireless Communications, has launched an up to 100mbps residential broadband service in Jamaica. The broadband service is delivered using what is claimed to be the Carribean’s first FTTH residential broadband network. A choice of FTTH broadband plans are being offered with download speeds from 12-100 mbps. The service will initially be available to residents in Montego Bay and St Catherine and will be gradually extended to include other parts of the country.

Sri Lankan mobile service provider Dialog Axiata has entered into a share purchase agreement through its subsidiary Dialog Broadband Network’s (DBN) to acquire 100% of wireless fixed line operator Suntel. The estimated $34 million acquisition will be completed upon satisfaction of the share purchase agreement conditions. Upon completion DBN and Suntel will be merged into one entity, providing fixed line and broadband services. Suntel is a subsidiary of Swedish operator Overseas Telecom.

Canadian mobile operator Rogers Communications has decided to discontinue its WiMAX wireless broadband service on 1 March 2012. The move is part of the company’s strategy to focus on its 3G and 4G cellular mobile broadband network. Rogers’ launched its LTE network following trials last Autumn and plans to cover 30% of the Canadian population by the end of 2011.

The French regulator ARCEP has received bids from all four of the country’s major telecoms operators for its upcoming 4G auction. France Telecom, SFR, Bouygues and Iliad have all submitted offers but no information was given as to how much each had bid. The second auction phase aims to raise at least €1.8 billion, offering frequencies in the 800 Mhz band. The first phase of auctions in France sold off batches of the 2.6GHz band raising €936 million.

Australia’s National Broadband Network co (NBN) has announced the selection of Visionstream Australia to build the first stage of the country’s transit network. The $19 million contract will task Visionstream with constructing the rings of the backbone fibre optic cable that will connect the NBN central hub to exchanges. The first stage of the rollout will include 149 transit links connecting to 168 fibre access nodes.

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