Friday Network News: January 13
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Local sources report that Bulgaria’s telecoms regulator CRC has invited two companies to bid for vacant frequencies in the 3.5GHz range. The bidders M-SAT Cable and Bulgaria Connect will be given the opportunity to bid for the 10 year permits which can be used for a range of services from GSM to WiMax.
Rules have been published for the Dutch spectrum auction, which will take place in October 2012. The country’s operators have until April 16 to apply. Dutch regulator Agentschap Telecom will organise an information meeting for potential participants in June. Spectrum will be available for auction in the 800MHz band and parts of the 2.1GHz and 2.6GHz bands, while existing spectrum will be re-auctioned in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands. For the article click here.
UK mobile operator O2 is preparing to construct what is claimed to be Europe’s largest free Wi-Fi hub. The operator has made agreements with two London councils to provide WiFi coverage in the areas of Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster. The network aims to provide coverage in the main areas of the districts by the launch of the Olympic Games in the city in August, with the remainder planned to be covered in the longer term. Funding for the WiFi hubs will come from a technology investment sum of £500 million.
US operator T-Mobile has announced the continued expansion of its 4G HSPA+ 21 network to nine additional markets, reaching a total of 217 markets in the country. Following the high profile cancellation of merger plans with AT&T at the end of last year, the company is now set to receive a large package of AWS mobile spectrum in 128 cellular market areas, pending regulatory approval, and $3 billion in cash. The market areas include 12 of the top 20 in the US.
French broadband service provider Iliad has launched Free Mobile, the country’s fourth mobile operator. Free plans to secure a market share by using a pricing strategy to undercut the opposition. The company was cleared to launch its mobile network in December, having been audited by French regulator Arcep. Free’s network covers approximately 27% of the French population with the remainder covered by a national roaming agreement with France Telecom Orange. For the article click here.
Ericsson has been selected by Israeli network operator Cellcom to upgrade half of its network to offer 4G services, according to local sources. The other half of the network is to be upgraded by Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) in a deal struck last year. Reports suggest that Ericsson will upgrade Cellcom’s infrastructure in the South of Israel while NSN will be responsible for the North.
Financial investor Mount Charlotte has bought 4.3 billion shares of Indonesian operator PT Bakrie Telecom worth $159 million. Bakrie and Brothers, that previously owned a 40% stake in PT Bakrie telecom, has seen its share shrink to 29.9% as a result. The investor Mount Charlotte focuses on telecoms and media businesses in the Asia Pacific region.
HKT’s operating division PCCW Global has announced a partnership with Ciena to upgrade its subsea network to 100G. The upgrade, which uses Ciena’s Wavelogic coherent networking solutions, will significantly increase the capacity of PCCW Global’s North Asian subsea routes, which connect Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan over approximately 9,800 km of cable. For the article click here.
Telehouse America has announced the opening of Telehouse Frankfurt, a Tier 3 data centre. The launch of the facility has been made possible by Telehouse’s acquisition of collocation and housing provider, Databurg GmbH. The Frankfurt data centre offers 220,000 square feet of collocation space and is carrier neutral with over 22 carriers/ISPs. The facility will offer access to what the company claims is the second largest internet exchange, DE-CIX, with 404 ISP’s and carriers from over 45 countries. It also has a direct connection to the Frankfurt glass fibre ring. For the article click here.
The Colombian government has authorised Virgin Mobile Latin America to operate as an MVNO in the country, according to local sources. Colombia is the latest Latin American country to grant the company permission, following previous bids in Chile, Mexico and Peru. Virgin Mobile is planning to invest $300 million in the region, over the next five years, with Brazil also said to be among its targets. The company aims to launch commercial operations in Chile in March and Colombia and Mexico later this year.