Friday Network News: August 10

Friday Network News: August 10

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

UK provider Exponential-e has completed a 100Gbps upgrade to its network to allow its 1,200 customers and partners to deal with a predicted increase in data traffic during London’s summer sporting events. Exponential-e has constructed a new network around four major node houses in Carrier Neutral Hotels: two in the Docklands area, and two in the City area of London. The upgrade was conducted outside of core business hours over the past 12 months. Exponential-e decided to carry out the upgrade as a result of seeing a major spike in data traffic on its network during the broadcast of last year’s Royal Wedding.

Two multi-million dollar Indonesian and Russian telecoms satellites have reportedly been abandoned following a failed launch by the Russian space agency. Indonesia’s Telekom-3 and Russia’s Express MD2 satellites were subject to an error after take-off from the Baikonur launch pad in Kazakhstan, according to Reuters. The failed launch was similar to the one that scrapped the $265 million Express AM-4 satellite last summer and casts further doubt upon the reliability of the Russian Proton rocket.

Wifi provider iPass has announced that its global Wifi network now includes more than one million commercial Wifi hotspots, accessible by its channel partners through the iPass Open Mobile platform. The network is aimed at allowing customers to roam with their devices without fear of bill shock and high data roaming costs.

Nigerian provider Direct on PC has reportedly selected Indian equipment vendor Shyam Networks for the delivery of internet services. Direct on PC will use Shyam’s P2P radio products in its network, which provides internet services to business organisations, according to India’s Economic Times. Shyam’s platform deploys high-speed wireless IP connections between remote locations with coverage of up to 40km.

US carrier MetroPCS and Korean operator SK Telecom both announced on Wednesday that they had launched Voice over LTE service solutions for mobile devices. VoLTE enables the capability to offer enhanced speech coding and transmission bandwidth providing better call quality than 3G. Both companies have begun selling VoLTE enabled smartphones but while MetroPCS said that the capability would work regardless of network, SK Telecom’s service is for now network restricted.

Equipment vendor Huawei has launched an enhanced Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS) innovation centre in Shenzhen, China to develop end-to-end eMBMS solutions and LTE applications. The eMBMS 3GPP standard is used for mobile video and enables a higher transfer capacity over typical multimedia broadcast technologies. The centre will be focussed on video-on-demand services and broadcast information. Huawei believes that the centre will enable it to enrich LTE applications and accelerate the development of the eMBMS industry, including chipsets, device and network equipment.

Verizon Wireless has announced three expansions of its US 4G LTE coverage taking place on August 16. The carrier is planning to extend coverage in the Cincinnati area, Bismarck-Mandan, Minot and Grand Forks in North Dakota, and Ames in Iowa. By the end of the year Verizon plans to cover 400 US markets, having already nearly reached the milestone of covering 75% of the US population with LTE services.

US operator Sprint is to deploy Alcatel-Lucent’s LightRadio metro cells to provide broadband capacity in high traffic areas. Alcatel-Lucent’s mini base station solution will be used to support Sprint’s services across indoor, outdoor, urban hotspot and rural applications. Sprint said its initial deployment will focus on indoor areas, including entertainment venues, transportation hubs and business campuses. The technological deployment will also cater to the carrier’s 4G LTE capacity before its next-generation network roll-out.

Cable & Wireless Communications has launched mobile data services on the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean. The 2.5G GRPS/EDGE service will enable local customers to access the internet and send and receive emails and multimedia messages on mobile devices for the first time. CWC is the sole provider for telecommunications services on the islands, which have a population of approximately 3,000 people. The carrier provides mobile, fixed and broadband services.

NTT Communications has announced that it will launch the 7,800km Asia Submarine-cable Express (ASE), linking major Asian cities, on August 20. ASE will connect Japan, the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia, with Hong Kong to be added in the first quarter of 2013. It will connect directly to the Serangoon Data Centre in Singapore and later to NTT’s under construction Hong Kong Financial Data Centre. The submarine cable, which has been designed to withstand earthquake and typhoon damage, will have a total carrying capacity exceeding 15Tbps, and will initially incorporate 40Gbps optical technology with a 100Gbps upgrade to follow later. The carrier also announced this week that it had extended its global low latency network by utilising the Transit Europe Asia-2 (TEA-2) terrestrial cable system, which stretches across China and Russia to Sweden. The carrier now offers a dedicated connection between London and Hong Kong.

The launch of the Europe-Persia Express Gateway (EPEG) cable has reportedly been delayed further, having failed to meet its May ready for service date. Trend News Agency reports that the unavailability of the cable’s sea segment between Iran and Oman is the reason for the postponement. Work on the approximately 500km length section is expected to be completed within the next two months. The 10,000km EPEG system will link Oman and Frankfurt, via mostly terrestrial cable between Iran, Azerbaijan, Russia and the Ukraine. It will have an initial capacity of 540Gbps and maximum design capacity of 3.2Tbps.