Friday Network News: January 11

Friday Network News: January 11

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


British Overseas Territory St Helena is requesting £10 million from the UK government to fund a submarine cable link to the planned South Atlantic Express cable. The BBC reports that campaigners are calling upon the UK’s Department for International Development to be responsible for the bulk of engineering costs in connecting the island to the cable, which is being built by eFive and will link Brazil and South Africa. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office said if eFive does go ahead with the plans, government funding would depend on a full economic assessment to consider potential economic and social benefits. St Helena relies on satellite links for internet connectivity, which are expensive and claimed by campaigners to be limiting the island’s growth.


The Slovakian National Agency for Network and Electronic Services (NASES) has issued notification of a tender for operators to deploy passive high-speed fibre-optic network infrastructure in rural areas with little or no broadband connectivity. The project has a total budget of €213 million and is partly funded by the EU. Design and engineering services plans are scheduled to be completed in 2014, with deployment of broadband access network to be finished by 2018 under a timetable approved by the European Commission.


Libyan International Telecom Company (LITC) has announced the commercial launch of the Silphium subsea cable system, linking Darnah, Libya with Chania, Greece. The cable had originally been due for completion at the end of 2011, but the project was put on hold after civil war broke out in Libya. [read more]


Zain Kuwait appointed Middle East Telecommunications Company (METCO) to implement Ciena’s LTE Carrier Ethernet backhaul architecture on its network. The contract saw METCO implement Ciena’s service delivery switches for the carrier. METCO said the deployment will support Zain Kuwait’s migration path to LTE having recently been the first operator to launch services in the country.


Seaborn Networks has announced that Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks has mobilised vessels for marine route surveys in the US and Brazil. The surveys, related to Seaborn’s US-Brazil submarine cable project, are deemed critical for the construction of Seabras-1, the new fibre-optic submarine cable being built by Alcatel-Lucent for Seaborn Networks. [read more]


The Azerbaijani government is reportedly planning to launch a three-year project for the roll-out of a high-speed fibre-optic network connecting all the country’s settlements. Azerbaijan Business Center reports that there will be three stages to the project, each taking one year through to 2015. Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and the State Oil Fund have asked foreign experts to prepare an investment agreement for the project, according to the publication. The project will involve the laying of an estimated 18,000km of cable and preliminary estimates suggest it will cost AZN 450 million. Once the agreement has been signed Isbandiyar Aliyev, head of the strategic planning department at MCIT, also said there will be a tender announced to conduct work on laying fibre-optic cable in Baku and other regions of the country.


Etisalat Nigeria has signed an agreement with Alcatel-Lucent for the equipment vendor to roll out 1,000 base stations in the country during 2013. Local reports cite Etisalat Nigeria CEO, Steven Evans, as saying the agreement with the French vendor will help “the company in its efforts to continually upgrade its network to provide better services to its customers across the country”. [read more]


US metro provider Zayo is to provide dark fibre connectivity to wholesale data centre provider Next Connex in London. The connection from Zayo is expected to allow Next Connex to support data centre operators and provide onward connectivity to internet hubs across the city. [read more]


State-owned Beltelecom has reportedly increased the external internet gateway capacity of Belarus to 350Gbps from 290Gbps. Local news agency BelTA reports that the expansion is due to the country’s growing internet subscriber base, and the need to secure high-quality access to foreign information resources. Earlier the carrier invited bidders to purchase internet access services in the direction of Russia, with the winner expected to provide a minimum of 110Gbps.There are also further plans to expand Belarus’ external internet gateway capacity by at least 10Gbps by Q2 2013, according to the publication.


Verizon Wireless’, VP for network engineering, Mike Haberman, has confirmed that nearly 50% of the carrier’s data traffic now travels over its LTE network. This represents a significant jump from October 2012 when only 35% of data traffic was being carried over the network. Haberman also said in the interview with Firece Wireless that he expects to see a seven-fold overall increase in data traffic during the next three years. Verizon’s LTE network now covers 89% of its legacy 2G/3G footprint. 

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