Friday Network News: October 12

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

Sea Fibre Networks (SFN) has constructed a terrestrial network between Balterly to Halmer End in Staffordshire, UK, which it claims will bypass a longer, more northerly route to London. The company, which operates the CeltixConnect network between Dublin and London, believes that the Staffordshire Gateway will increase diversity and lower costs for customers: "In the past customers rarely had a choice in backhaul provider at this location. However the addition of the Staffordshire Gateway ensures the customer is at the centre of the solution and can design a network bespoke to their requirements such as low latency (length), cost, existing relationships or scalability," said Tom McMahon, CTO of Sea Fibre Networks. 

Vodafone’s South African subsidiary Vodacom Group has launched South Africa’s first commercial 4G LTE service in Johannesburg. The service will initially be available to customers in South Africa’s most populous city before being rolled out to other South African cities in the near future. The move puts Vodacom ahead of local rivals MTN, Cell C and 8ta which are all still conducting LTE trials. MTN and Cell C have targeted the commercial launch of their LTE services for early next year.

Software provider Intersec is launching a new version of its Location Based Services (LBS) solution, the IGLOO Geolocator. The solution is aimed to help operators monetise their network assets to generate new revenue streams from mobile advertising, mobile marketing and other location-based services. The IGLOO Geolocator enables mobile operators to grab a share of the burgeoning market for location-based services, which industry analysts Pyramid Research predict will reach $10.3 billion globally by 2015. IGLOO software resides in the operator network and collects metadata emerging from the network in real-time. 

Projects for rural broadband in the UK will be injected with £530 million in state aid to widen access for faster internet connections. Europe’s competition watchdog backed the plans to use state funds to support such an initiative. The announcement serves as another major breakthrough for the government’s digital economy plans. A deal was struck last week to speed up the roll-out of 4G mobile services in the country. The Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) scheme, which aims to roll out fast broadband to most areas of the UK has been delayed after an investigation was launched into the how state aid was being used and whether it infringed on existing rules.

Seaborn Networks has signed a contract with Alcatel-Lucent to construct the Seabras-1 system between New York in the US and São Paulo in Brazil, with a branch to Fortaleza, Brazil. The companies are said to have already commenced the permit and marine survey work for the project, which will offer speeds of up to 100Gbps. “Our management team has a long history of working with Alcatel-Lucent on other submarine cable projects, and we believe Alcatel-Lucent’s industry-leading submarine technology is an invaluable tool to offer added-value and reliable services to our customers,” said Larry Schwartz, Seaborn Networks’ CEO. 

UK FTTH provider Hyperoptic has announced it has signed 30 property developments across London to deploy a 1Gb broadband solution. Hyperoptic says it is on target to create its own fibrehood in London, and enable a 1Gb solution, which is designed to offer better last mile access from traditional copper. The company claims the network will be 10 times faster than the speed of the nearest competitor and over 100 times faster than average broadband in the UK. Covering 12 boroughs in London, Hyperoptic’s network presently reaches 10,000 homes and by the end of 2012 the company aims to service 20,000 homes, 100 major property developments and make 1Gb connections available to over half a million homes in the next five years.

French internet exchange France-IX has activated a 1Gbps link to Milan. The connection, which is based at Top-IX’s PoP, is designed to boost peering between Italy and France. The Layer 2 interconnection will become operational this month, and will bring traffic to all members from France-IX and Top-IX. France-IX's other interconnection agreements with internet exchange providers includes links with Lu-cix, LyonIX and SFINX, and is capable of achieving 100Gbps speeds. France-IX’s platform works to connect directly to another internet exchange provider, on its own or via a reseller if traffic increases.

euNetworks has announced the completion of a network project with Deutsche Börse AG. Along with a number of other preferred partners, euNetworks was selected to deliver important elements of Deutsche Börse’s underlying infrastructure. Deutsche Börse’s roll-out strategy for this network project has focussed on optimisation, increased bandwidth and the highest possible system stability. The company has been supporting Deutsche Börse’s bandwidth requirements for a number of years, delivering dark fibre, Ethernet and internet services. Within this latest roll-out project, euNetworks has provided Deutsche Börse with Ethernet services and network redundancy they require.

Huawei has announced it has successfully completed an interoperability test (IOT) between Huawei’s IP Private Branch Exchange (PBX) and Microsoft Lync. The Chinese vendor said the exercise was a sign of boosting efficiency of communications and allowing for more collaboration between enterprises. During the successful IOT, Huawei’s gateway was used as the IP-PBX to interconnect with the Microsoft Lync server 2010, and the company said this confirms the device can be used to deliver a wider range of Unified Communications (UC) services to users.