Friday Network News: March 9

09 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.

eFive Telecoms CEO, Rosaland Thomas, expects the SAex cable, connecting South Africa to Brazil, to go live within two years. SAex spans 7,400km and will connect Mthunzini on the east coast, via east London, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town to Fortaleza in Brazil. The $320 million cable will be the fifth to go live in South Africa upon its completion.

NTT Communications has launched a fibre-optic network in Indonesia to meet the needs of its multinational customer base. The service, based in the East Jakarta Industrial Park, allows multinational customers to use high capacity fibre-optic access lines to connect to global offices or global cloud platforms via the company’s nearest PoP. Additional industrial parks and office buildings in Indonesia are being considered for expansion of the service in the future.

Bharti airtel has upgraded its Sri Lankan mobile network to HSPA+. The upgrade which stretches across more than 250 sites in the Colombo and Greater Colombo areas was deployed as part of a six month project. Sri Lanka’s Telecommunications Regulatory Commission recently acknowledged that airtel’s network was the fastest in the country during speed tests.

South African operator Neotel is testing a series of technology platforms including LTE to improve its broadband services, according to local sources. Neotel’s trial LTE network covers the Midrand area of Johannesburg and is thought to use the 800MHz band of spectrum. Neotel’s South African LTE trial follows similar trials by rival operators; Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and 8ta.

Eurotunnel is partnering with French mobile operators France Telecom Orange, SFR, Bouygues Telecom and Free to provide 2G and 3G mobile services to high-speed train passengers in the channel tunnel. The operators will provide an extension of their 2G/3G coverage through the south running tunnel via a transmitter cable and optical repeaters every 750 metres. The installation cost is estimated at €14 million and is expected to be completed in time for the London 2012 Olympics in July. Alcatel-Lucent has been selected as the vendor to supply the network infrastructure.

Brazilian state telecoms group Telebrás has detailed an ambitious submarine cable project to connect Brazil to the US, Europe, Africa and the South American Atlantic Coast. The cable will consist of five sections and has an estimated completion time of 5-6 years. The section linking Brazil to the US is expected to be completed in time for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Brazil’s government is working with a shortlist of partners to finance and build the estimated $1.13 billion project.

Canadian carrier TELUS is planning to invest $3 billion in technology and facilities over the next three years in British Columbia. Part of the investment will be used to extend its 4G LTE network from Vancouver to more than four million British Columbian citizens. TELUS will invest $350 million to increase its high-speed internet coverage to 97% of British Columbians, and will also build a green data centre in the town of Kamloops.

France’s Iliad is planning to accelerate the roll-out of its mobile network in 2012, on the back of the success of its mobile operator Free. Iliad aims to have 2,500 antennas in place by the end of the year, from approximately 735 which are now operational, and it plans to make an investment of €250 million in mobile this year. The additional antennas will mean that Free is less reliant on its roaming partner, France Telecom Orange, which provides approximately 72% of its coverage presently.

Irish broadband provider, Digiweb, has launched a 30Mbps broadband internet service, providing faster speeds to 500,000 homes and businesses across the country. Digiweb expects the service to offer a significant improvement for customers, many of which previously only had access to 1Mbps. Digiweb also claims that in many areas outside of town centres it will be the only broadband service reaching out to customers’ premises.