Friday Network News: December 21

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

 Telefónica’s O2 UK has selected Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) to upgrade its infrastructure in preparation for the launch of LTE services across London and the south east of the country. The operator will be looking to roll out services quickly after being awarded LTE frequencies in next year’s spectrum auction. Under the contract NSN will provide its Single RAN platform and multi-radio base station solution. The vendor will also supply its network management system and network implementation and care services across 50% of O2’s radio access network. In addition, NSN is enabling O2’s radio access network for sharing with Vodafone UK. 

 The Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) cable is now operational in 13 countries. Almost 12,000km of fibre-optic cable was used for the first phase of the deployment, linking between France and Sao Tomé & Principe. Of the 13 countries, seven will receive direct submarine cable connectivity for the first time: The Gambia, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Sao Tomé & Principe and Sierra Leone. [read more]

 Alcatel-Lucent is upgrading the MAYA-1 submarine cable, which spans 4,400km from Florida, US to Tolu, Colombia, to 40Gbps. The upgrade will quadruple the active data on the link to address growing demand for bandwidth intensive services. It will also enable a potential upgrade to 100Gbps in the future. MAYA-1 is owned by a consortium of telcos and connects to the US, Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, Cayman Islands, Panama and Colombia in a collapsed ring configuration. Although originally an SDH ring the route has now also been configured with direct wavelength access. 

 Indonesian provider Indosat has selected Alcatel-Lucent to boost its capacity of data connections to support its mobile broadband network. The move is designed to aid Indosat’s network for 3G mobile broadband services, and lay the groundwork for the introduction of new technologies. [read more]

 China Unicom is to deploy Huawei’s Blade RRU distributed base station solution as part of an expansion of its WCDMA network. The solution is designed for operators utilising multi-band and multi-mode networks and is claimed to reduce the number of on-site modules. Huawei said the solution is compatible with China Unicom’s existing architecture and will enable the operator to easily introduce LTE in the future. It is supporting the operator’s HSPA+ 21 mobile broadband services and will enable speeds of 84Mbps with software upgrades. 

 Verizon has announced progress in installing fibre-optic cables in Lower Manhattan. The carrier completed the laying of cable between two critical central switching offices and buildings put out of service by Hurricane Sandy. This marks the end of the fibre installation phase of the project, which has seen more than 5,000 miles of fibre strands put in place. Verizon said this will enable it to dramatically modernise the communications capabilities for customers as it restores services to businesses and office buildings affected by the storm surge. Once the project is complete the Lower Manhattan area will have the most advanced communications infrastructure in the US, according to Verizon. 

 International carrier IX Reach has connected to the UAE-IX neutral internet exchange point in Dubai adding to the exchange’s first 10 customers announced earlier this month. The connection will enable IX Reach customers to connect from anywhere on its network into the Datamena data centre and UAE-IX. The carrier said its presence in UAE-IX will be particularly desirable for its customers. Companies connected within Datamena’s transit zone areas will also be able to use IX Reach’s network to access over 65 PoPs in 30+ cities globally. 

 Sprint has reported significant progress in its deployment of network upgrades in 2012, with 49 US market, including Dallas, Houston and Austin, now covered with LTE and 3G upgrades rolled out to more than 70 markets nationwide. The carrier said that it expected to accelerate the momentum of upgrades with coverage to be extended to 150 more markets in the coming months. 

 Deutsche Telekom has submitted an application to Germany’s Federal Network Agency to permit the use of vectoring on its fixed network. Vectoring enables speeds of up to 100Mbps on VDSL copper infrastructure. The carrier plans to spend approximately €6 billion on expansion of its fixed network with vectoring over the next four years. In its application the carrier has made concessions for competitors allowing them to deploy vectoring in cable distribution boxes already connected using fibre optics. 

 euNetworks has extended its new low latency route to connect Basildon in the UK to Frankfurt, Germany, through its dedicated finance network. The company claims it is delivering one of the shortest routes in the market, providing direct exchange-to-exchange connectivity linking Basildon to Frankfurt. It has a one way latency route of less than 4.15 milliseconds. [read more]

 Japanese operator Softbank has partnered with Thuraya Telecommunication to enable satellite communication services to Japanese business, enterprise and consumer subscribers across the company’s satellite network. Softbank had to obtain regulatory approval to gain access to Thuraya’s satellite network services in Japan, and as of February 2013, Thuraya’s handsets and airtime services will be sold to customers from Softbank Mobile’s distribution channels. [read more]

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