News in brief

15 February 2011 |

  • Network vendor Ciena has been selected by Saudi Arabian operator Mobily to build a network in the region. Ciena will provide Mobily with selected solutions across its portfolio, including Carrier Ethernet, optical transport and switching to bring Ethernet services to the network edge and integrate packet optical switching and transport through the network core. Mobily is Saudi Arabia’s fastest growing mobile technology provider, owning 40% of the country’s mobile market.
  • Chinese operator China Unicom has taken a seat on the board of Spanish incumbent Telefonica by extending an existing strategic agreement covering procurement, mobile platforms and wholesale. Telefonica has purchased $500 million of shares in China Unicom, which in exchange will purchase 21.8 million shares in Telefonica.
  • Thai operator AIS will invest approximately $323 million on expanding its mobile networks. The company will spend three quarters of the budget on expanding its 2G network and use the rest of the investment on developing its fledgling 3G service. The 3G upgrade involves an installation of 1,900 new base stations in major cities across the country. 
  • Libya’s LAP Green Networks has agreed to acquire a 51% stake in Niger’s Sonitel for $63.6 million. The deal means LAP will also own a controlling stake in Sonitel subsidiary Sahelcom. LAP acquired a 75% stake in Zambian operator Zamtel in June 2010, and the company plans to spend approximately $146 million on its new acquisition. 
  • Jordan’s government has denied that it broke an exclusivity agreement with Jordan Telecom for implementing 3G services after it allowed Kuwaiti operator Zain to test 3G in the country. Jordan Telecom is claiming approximately $169 million in damages from the government, after the operator acquired a 3G licence in August 2009. It is claimed Zain has been testing and implementing 3G in the country without a licence.
  • NTT Europe has said it will merge with managed hosting subsidiary NTT Europe Online as a further step towards becoming an all-round ICT service provider. The transfer of business, staff and other assets has been completed in France, the UK and Germany, and is due to follow in the Netherlands, Switzerland and Spain. 
  • Somalia’s government said it will start regulating the country’s telecoms sector in order to boost growth and encourage outside investment. It has already drafted rules for managing cellular frequencies, phone numbers and interconnection agreements. The Somalian market to date has been entirely unregulated.

  • GTS Central Europe has acquired the Sitel Data Centre (SDC) in Prague and has launched a data centre company named CE Colo. SDC will add to GTS’ 12 data centres across the CEE region and provide the foundation for the new company. SDC has 2,270m sq of customer floor space and 700m sq of space for expansion. SDC services approximately 130 companies, including Interoute, Mobilkom and Tesco.
  • UK MNO Vodafone and Gamma Telecom have signed a mobile virtual network aggregator (MVNA) wholesale agreement, enabling Gamma’s channel partners to become full mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). Gamma previously had a deal with Vodafone’s rival 3UK. 
  • The New York Telecom Exchange (NYTEX) has launched a direct trading platform called tTrader, which enables user organisations to exchange voice traffic directly with other participants using their existing NYTEX interconnection. 
  • StarHub, PLDT, NTT and Telekom Malaysia are to build and operate a 7,200km submarine cable linking Singapore, Japan, the Philippines and Hong Kong. The Asia Submarine-Cable Express (ASE) will cost an estimated $430 million and is expected to become operational by June 2012.