Friday Network News: September 30

30 September 2011 | Kavit Majithia


Capacity brings you the latest network news. If you have network developments you’d like us to share please email kavit.majithia@capacitymedia.com or tweet us @capacitymag.

Subsea cable operator CeltixConnect has confirmed its Ireland to UK fibre optic cable will launch in early December. Its parent company, Sea Fibre Networks has signed a contract with NSQ and Global Marine Systems for cable manufacturing and subsea cable lay, with work presently being done on terrestrial links in Holyhead and Dublin. It is expected the new fibre network will double existing capacity connecting Ireland and the UK and reduce 100km off existing subsea cables to reduce latency.

USA’s third largest operator, Sprint Nextel, has announced it will launch its 4G LTE network early next year. The company is installing LTE equipment and field testing the network in areas across the US, with a commercial launch expected between Q1 and Q2 2012. Sprint holds an advantage over its rivals in terms of technical and speed capabilities due to its partnership with Clearwire but Verizon, the largest carrier in the US, has been much quicker in its deployment of LTE, and has planned for a much wider reach across the US than Sprint.

Russian carrier Megafon has signed a cooperation agreement with the Federal Grid Company Uified Energy System (FGC UES) for the operator to roll out a new fibre-optic network based on power resources from the electric transmission company. The agreement is expected to provide customers with high-speed broadband capabilities across the whole of Siberia and the far east of Russia. Both companies will use the technology infrastructure attached to the power transmission towers of the Federal Grid Company to enable a complete network roll out before 2013. MegaFon also confirmed it expects to make 3G services available to 95% of the Russia population by the end of 2011

Bharti airtel is to expand its 2G networks and deploy 3G networks in seven African countries, after signing a deal with Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN). NSN will manage the end-to-end network operations, including planning, designing and implementing the new networks for airtel, and expand this coverage through its Flexi Multiradio Base Stations in underserved areas. The countries due to benefit from this were not named by airtel.

Huawei, the Chinese solutions provider has been selected by Softbank-owned subsidiary Wireless City Planning to deploy a LTE TDD commercial network in Japan. The network will first be launched in specific areas of Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka, to offer downlink data speeds of 110Mbps. Through Huawei’s Advanced eXtended Global Platform (AXGP), which enables the transition towards LTE technology, Softbank believes the upgrade will consolidate market leadership and help build Japan’s fastest radio network.

Vodafone has announced an extension of its existing strategic partnership with Swisscom. The companies will continue to work together to support communications needs of businesses and multinational customers, while offering beneficial roaming arrangements to both Swisscom and Vodafone customers. The partnership includes agreements to jointly procure phones, network equipment, service platforms and other technology infrastructure.

Colt and Ciena have partnered for the network vendor to extend Colt’s portfolio of managed security services. Through Ciena’s 5000 series product, Colt will deploy solutions throughout its regional managed metro networks to power its encryption data connectivity services in 14 European markets, including Germany, France, Italy and the UK. According to Ciena, the new offering also simplifies the deployment of secure network services for enterprises through optical transport technologies, functioned by a single integrated infrastructure.

And finally, Malta’s largest operator GO has upgraded its broadband network through a partnership with Alcatel-Lucent, giving it access to company’s copper and fibre access technologies. The agreement enables GO to provide high-speed internet access and voice services to subscribers across the region. New applications offered include peer-to-peer social networking, video sharing, video gaming, as demand for high-bandwidth and low latency continues to increase in the region. Alcatel-Lucent has also signed a similar deal in China, with China Mobile.