Friday Network News: March 16

16 March 2012 |

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

Ecuadorian service provider, Corporación Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (CNT), is deploying a 3G WCDMA mobile network across Ecuador. CNT it utilising Alcatel-Lucent equipment for the network roll-out, which will allow it to offer converged services accessed from both fixed and mobile devices. Alcatel-Lucent will provide maintenance and network optimisation services for the network, which is intended to meet the rising demand for mobile broadband connectivity across the country.

Australian operator Optus has selected Huawei to construct its LTE network in Newcastle, New South Wales, according to local sources. Huawei will deploy its SingleRAN equipment, allowing 4G services over the 1800MHZ band. Huawei Australia is reportedly hoping that the deal will lead a national LTE deployment contract with Optus.

Service providers BICS and AICENT have entered into an IPX peering agreement. The agreement, claimed to be the first of its kind in the world, will see both providers rolling out and maintaining separate privately managed IP clouds with IPX traffic between them established through three interconnection points. BICS’ VP of mobile data business management, Mikael Schachne, told Capacity to expect similar peering agreement in the future and hinted that another could be announced soon.

T-Mobile Czech Republic has launched HSPA+42 over its 3G network in the country. The upgrade will allow download speeds of up to 42Mbps and is initially available in Zlin, Otrokovice and Mlada Boleslay. Expansion to the Prague 4 and Prague 11 areas is intended by the end of April, with further expansion in Brno, Ceske Budejovice and Liberec expected by the end of Q3 2012. The upgrade comes after a successful testing phase at the end of 2011 and will compliment the HSPA+21 service which T-Mobile already offers in the country.

Telefónica’s UK wholesale arm, BE Wholesale, has rebranded to O2 Wholesale and is launching Ethernet services. O2 Wholesale’s Ethernet offering will allow its partners to connect to customer’s sites, with value-added voice and data services, including IP VPN, cloud computing and internet access. The rebranding is part of a mobile and fixed strategy that is aimed at allowing the company to be more competitive against the brands of its UK wholesale competitors, which include BT, Cable&Wireless Worldwide and TalkTalk.

Verizon Wireless has reached the milestone of 200 markets covered in the US with its 4G LTE network. Dothan, Alabama, was the 200th market covered in Verizon’s aggressive LTE roll-out which has now reached a total of 203 markets. Verizon plans to cover more than 400 markets by the end of 2012, reaching 260 million people in the US. Recent data from TeleGeography for Q4 2011 revealed that 62% of global LTE subscribers are Verizon customers.

UK operator Everything Everywhere is proposing to launch 4G LTE services in the UK as early as this year. The plans were welcomed by regulator Ofcom which said that they were “likely to bring material benefits to consumers”. Everything Everywhere would initially make services available across mobile Wifi units should the proposals go through. The operator is planning LTE trials in April using the 1800MHz band of spectrum.

Virgin Media is bringing Wifi access to the London Underground metro system for the duration of the summer of 2012. Access will be provided at 120 tube stations, initially for free, after the summer it will then become part of Virgin Media’s broadband and mobile subscriptions. The service is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2012 London Olympics.

Submarine cable company, Seaborn Networks, is deploying what it claims to be the first direct cable between Miami, US, and São Paulo, Brazil. Seabras-1, which is scheduled to be completed in 2014, is 10,500km in length and will operate at 32Tbps capacity. As well as connecting Miami and São Paulo, Seabras-1 will also include a branch to Fortaleza, Brazil. Seaborn says that it will offer a unique pricing model for the first carrier customers to purchase capacity, a hybrid between consortium and more traditional private cable models.

Middle Eastern operator, Zain Group, is launching a global Wifi data roaming service based on the iPass open mobile exchange. Zain customers will be offered access to global Wifi roaming and the iPass Mobile Network in over 700,000 locations, in 117 countries around the world. Zain claims to be the first operator in the Middle East to offer the service.