Friday Network News: September 14

Friday Network News: September 14

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

Qtel has announced the installation of its fibre network in more than 36,000 homes and has laid fibre passing 131,000 homes for later activation. The Qatari incumbent said that the installation process for the service had been streamlined to make it more convenient for customers. So far 1,900km of cable has been installed. Qtel has committed more than QR 1 billion to the broadband service, which offers download speeds of up to 100Mbps. 

Singapore’s M1 has announced that its 4G LTE network will go live tomorrow, making it the second operator behind SingTel to launch commercial services in the city state. M1 said that its networks offers maximum download speeds of up to 75Mbps, rising to 150Mbps once it refarms 1800MHz spectrum being used for GSM services. The carrier’s 1800MHz/2600MHz 4G network is claimed to cover more areas than its competitor, but this may change with SingTel planning to cover 95% of the state by early 2013. 

French carrier SFR has launched the Network Team, an alliance of business services consisting of Verizon, Vodafone, Etisalat, Tata Communications and Maroc Telecom. The alliance was formed to enable French companies and multinationals based in France to benefit from network quality and reliable coverage worldwide. One of the first services to be offered by SFR’s business subsidiary through the Network Team will be IP VPN. This service will enable interoperability between customer sites connected to each network partner, flow prioritisation between the sites, a commitment to service quality and a user interface for performance monitoring. The Vivendi-owned carrier also revealed that other agreements with major operator partners will be announced in the coming months. 

O3b Networks has announced a multi-million dollar agreement with Skynet Colombia to provide high-speed satellite connectivity to the Colombian Amazonas region. Skynet will utilise O3b’s trunking product to deliver high bandwidth to the region, which lacks fibre and microwave infrastructure. O3b said that the connectivity will develop the region’s economy and bring much desired broadband services to the local population consisting of 70,000 inhabitants, concentrated in 11 municipalities. Skynet CEO, René Otero, said that the service will combine with efforts already underway to close the digital divide and bring low-cost, high-speed internet to all of Colombia by 2014. 

China Telecom is to dramatically increase the capacity and reach of its fibre-optic data network in a bid to support a government initiative for broadband connectivity. Alcatel-Lucent’s local subsidiary, Shanghai Bell, has been selected as the main provider for the deployment of converged optical transport network and wavelength division multiplexing technology. The vendor won 70% market share in the 10G sector during China Telecom’s most recent bidding process. The upgrade is designed to support the Broadband China programme, which aims to deliver high-speed broadband connections to more than 250 million urban and rural homes in the country by 2015. 

Kuwaiti carrier Zain has launched a Wifi data roaming solution based on the iPass Open Mobile Exchange. The service will provide Zain mobile customers in Kuwait with a reduced cost data roaming solutions when travelling abroad, without connecting to 3G and 4G networks. Customers from Zain’s other operations in the Middle East and Africa will also be able to access the service in the future. 

Inteliquent has formed a strategic alliance with South African operator Vox Telecom to provide voice and data services to the southern African market. The agreement is said to strengthen Inteliquent’s coverage across southern Africa, while providing Vox Telecom with access to Intelliquent’s global Ethernet reach. Surendra Saboo, president and COO of Inteliquent, said the deal would better serve the needs of its customers in the region. 

African fibre provider Liquid Telecom has announced that the construction of its fibre link in the north of South Africa is making good progress since work began three months ago. The 521km link connects to Liquid’s existing fibre network and is designed to carry capacity from submarine cables inland. Liquid claims to have built the largest fibre network in southern Africa, providing backhaul between most urban areas and last mile connectivity in the main cities of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and South Africa. The company plans to invest in expanding to new countries over the next three years with the goal of achieving connectivity between all central and southern African countries. 

US business communications provider Earthlink is planning to launch wireless services for consumers next year using the under construction network of Clearwire. Earthlink is planning to initially offer the service to consumers for home use only, but plans to expand into mobile devices services for small business customers in the future. Clearwire intends to have 5,000 TD LTE cell sites in operation by June 2013 with coverage in 31 US cities. The wholesale provider has been looking to diversify its customer base having been largely dependent on revenue from Sprint Nextel

Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) has reportedly completed a $1.6 billion network upgrade and expansion ahead of schedule, tripling the carrier’s voice and data capacity. Local publication The Philippine Star cites a statement from PLDT’s president and CEO, Napoleon Nazareno, as saying that the completion of the two-year expansion programme ahead of schedule would significantly enhance service quality and reliability. Through the expansion programme, PLDT has increased its total fibre assets to 54,000km, including 6,000km of FTTH. 

T-Mobile Austria has selected packet optical network vendor Transmode to increase the capacity of its Austrian fibre network. The upgrade is designed to meet the growing needs of T-Mobile’s wireless customers, having observed a linear increase in traffic of 100% over the past few years. Transmode’s passive WDM solution will be used for the deployment, enabling greater capacity on T-Mobile’s existing fibre network. For the deal T-Mobile Austria signed a deed of adherence with Transmode, enabling it to take advantage of a framework agreement which its parent company, Deutsche Telekom, has with the vendor. 

Vodafone Hutchison Australia has launched DC HSPA+ services in parts of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Perth, Adelaide and Newcastle. Customers on the network can expect data speeds ranging from 2 to 16Mbps. The operator described the launch as the “most critical phase” of its $1.78 billion network upgrade, with all of its base station sites across Australia now equipped with 3G+ and 4G ready network technology. Vodafone Hutchison will begin the roll-out of 4G LTE from the beginning of 2013. The operator will also expand its network coverage through a joint venture with Optus, with 96% of Australian’s expected to be reached by as early as April 2013. 

Latin American Nautilus (LANautilus), Telecom Italia Sparkle’s wholesale operation in the Americas, has upgraded a 16,000km stretch of its submarine network, connecting Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Panama, Venezuela and St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, with 40Gbps coherent technology. Through the network enhancement LANautilus is able to increase its total network capacity, effectively quadrupling the amount of information transmitted per wavelength, according to Ciena, the vendor that carried out the deployment. The upgrade is also claimed to allow faster support to service provider and enterprise customers in the Caribbean and South and Central America.

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