Friday Network News: March 2

02 March 2012 |


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

Internet access in east Africa has been severely disrupted after a ship's anchor damaged the TEAMS fibre-optic cable off the coast of Kenya. The ship was waiting to enter the port of Mombasa when it anchored in a restricted area. TEAMS, which owns the cable, has said it will take up to 14 days to repair. Regional operators and service providers have been forced to re-route to the SEACOM cable, with a predicted 20% reduction in internet speeds until the situation is resolved.

Retail chain Tesco and operator Vodafone Hungary have launched an MVNO service in the country which commenced on March 1 2012. Tesco Mobile Zrt is split equally in terms of ownership and will be the fourth player in the Hungarian market. MVNO services will target Tesco customers and has an initial capital of $928,721. Additional investments are planned by its owners as the company expands. The Hungarian business model is built upon the success of other Tesco MVNO operations in the UK, Ireland and Slovakia.

China Telecom plans to upgrade and expand its CDMA network. Ericsson has been selected to upgrade the telco’s packet data serving node, expand its CDMA packet core network and provide related services for a period of two years. The vendor claims it will deploy the world’s first smart-pipe solution customised for CDMA networks in the Zhejiang and Anhui provinces. China Telecom also plans to incorporate its packet core network into its CDMA network across the country.

UK Broadband has switched on its first 4G LTE system in London. The launch is claimed to be the first TD LTE 3.5GHz deployment in the world and the UK’s first 4G deployment. The company is using Huawei’s TD LTE solution and plans to use a wholesale pricing model, offering services from May 2012 to businesses, consumers and the public sector in parts of central London.

Telefónica Germany, which operates under the O2 brand, is planning to launch LTE services in urban areas by July 2 2012. Initial coverage will be focussed in the main cities and regions of Germany, including Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Dresden, Hanover, Leipzig, Nuremberg and the Rhine-Ruhr region. It is expected to be available to around 200 towns and cities by the end of 2012, and will offer download speeds of up to 50Mbps.

H3G Italia has announced an extensive network upgrade of its backhaul network to offer customers maximum download speeds of up to 42Mbps. The upgrade first began in 2011 and is being performed by vendor Ericsson, which has had a relationship with H3G Italia since 2001. Ericsson will upgrade 3 Italia’s network architecture which will help the operator to migrate to end-to-end IP backhaul and access architecture.

China Mobile has thrown its support behind the adoption of TD LTE by revealing ambitious plans to establish 20,000 TD LTE base stations by the end of 2012 and 200,000 by the end of 2013. China Mobile’s TD LTE installations are expected to begin during the second half of this year and will see some of its existing TD SCDMA sites upgraded to TD LTE, according to China Mobile president Li Yu. China Mobile also extended TD LTE trials to three more Chinese cities: Beijing, Tianjin and Qingdaom.

Airtel Nigeria, a subsidiary of India’s Bharti Airtel, has reportedly launched a dual carrier HSPA+ network. The network will support download speeds of up to 42Mbps. According to local sources speaking to Airtel Nigeria’s CEO and MD, Rajan Swaroop, the network will be available in all 36 states of the country. Airtel is Nigeria’s third largest mobile operator by subscribers with an estimated market share of 18.9%.

Canada’s Rogers Communications has announced that its LTE network is now live in St John’s. Rogers claims that it is the first 4G service available to citizens in Newfoundland. Rogers first launched its LTE network in Ottawa last summer, followed by Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. The carrier is planning to expand its LTE network to more than 25 cities in 2012 including in Atlantic Canada.