Friday Network News: January 6

Friday Network News: January 6

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

  • Bahraini provider Batelco has rolled out a fibre-based access network in selected areas of the kingdom. Broadband speeds of up to 100Mbps will be provided to residents in fibre areas. Batelco claims that the network is capable of providing bandwidth reaching 2.5GB per customer. Residents of major real estate projects in the kingdom, including Riffa Views and Reef Island, are also being offered IPTV services over the network. The company plans to expand triple play voice, broadband and IPTV services to other areas during 2012.


  • South Korean carrier KT Corp has launched 4G LTE services in the country to compete with rivals LG U+ and SK Telecom which began offering services last year. The network was established in the capital of Seoul with expansion plans to provide 92% of South Korea’s population with LTE coverage by April. KT is reportedly aiming to attract four million customers by the end of the year.


  • The Batam-Dumai-Melaka (BDM) submarine cable system linking Indonesia and Malaysia has been completed. The cable system is approximately 400km in length with two routes; Melaka-Batam and Melaka-Dumai. It consists of four fibre pairs and is designed to provide 1.28Tbps of capacity using DWDM technology. Construction of BDM began in February 2011 with the signing of an agreement between Telekom Malaysia (TM), XL Axiata (XL) and Mora Telematika. For more information click here.


  • Australia’s National Broadband Network Co (NBN) has announced the connection of 4000 homes and businesses in its nationwide deployment of broadband services. It was revealed that 2315 of the total were connected via fibre with the remainder connected via an interim satellite service. The AUD36 billion government project was down on its own projections of 35,000 connections by the end of 2011. Despite this, NBN Co said that it was still pleased with the uptake of services.


  • Sprint Nextel has granted LightSquared a 30-day extension in its deadline to obtain clearance to operate its network from the FCC. This gives LightSquared until January 30, 2012 to obtain FCC clearance, after it missed its earlier deadline of December 31, 2011. The company must obtain this clearance in order to go ahead with a 15-year agreement to share LTE spectrum and equipment with Sprint. LightSquared has suffered open setbacks since the Department of Transportation and the Department of Defense found that the use of its licensed spectrum band would cause “harmful interference” with the GPS network used by the aviation and navigation industries. For more information click here.


  • Spanish anti-trust regulator CNC has opened a probe against the country’s top three mobile operators following a complaint from BT. The operators, Telefonica SA, Vodafone and France Telecom SA’s Orange are under investigation for an alleged breach of fair competition rules. The BT complaint accuses the three operators of squeezing out the profit margins of virtual mobile operators in the country.


  • China Telecom has announced an agreement with UK operator Everything Everywhere for the launch of a Chinese mobile service in the country. Under the agreement China Telecom will become an MVNO providing tailored mobile services and tariffs aimed at Chinese customers under its own brand name. The service will be managed by Everything Everywhere’s mobile virtual network aggregator Transatel. The move is part of China Telecom’s plans to expand its customer base outside of its domestic market for Chinese residents living in foreign countries and Chinese students and tourists. For more information click here.


  • Apax, the UK private equity firm which recently acquired Orange Switzerland, is said to be interested in collaborating with rival Sunrise. The nature of this cooperation is subject to speculation but any attempt to merge the two companies is likely to be blocked by the Swiss regulator WEKO, which prevented an attempt to do so by Orange Switzerland’s previous owners, France Telecom, in 2010. Operator Swisscom is dominant in the country with a market share of 62%, Sunrise is second with 21.5% and Orange Switzerland is third with 16.5%.


  • The Latvian spectrum auction has been completed with four companies awarded 4G frequencies by the country’s regulator, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Latvijas Mobilais Telefons (LMT), Tele 2 Latvia, Bita Latvia and Baltcom are reported to have received frequencies in the 2600 MHz band. Local reports suggest that the starting price for each block set was $372,000 with LMT thought to have paid approximately $1.435 million for its frequencies. For more information click here.


  • Vodacom Tanzania is reportedly planning to invest $100 million to improve its network. Local reports say that the sum will be spent over the next 12-18 months to increase network coverage and capacity. The company is said to be planning improvements to mobile data capabilities, as well as upgrades to its network operations and financial distribution in order to strengthen its mobile money service.


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