Friday Network News: March 23

23 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.

Etisalat is claiming to be the first operator to launch 3G network services in Afghanistan. The Middle Eastern operator signed an agreement to launch 3G services at a ceremony held at Afghanistan’s Ministry of Communications and IT building in the Afghan capital, Kabul. Afghanistan’s 3G auctions were held in November 2011 by regulator ATRA. The auction allowed bidding from entrants Sahar 3G, Toseye Eatemad Mobin and Shezai Tel USA, as well as existing operators; Telecom Development Company Afghanistan, MTN Afghanistan, Afghan Wireless Communications Company and Etisalat.

Russian fibre provider ER-Telecom has reportedly completed the first stage of deployment of its independent backbone network. Local sources report that the operator has rolled out infrastructure connecting the regions of Barnaul, Yekaterinburg, Krasnoyarsk, Kurgan, Magnitogorsk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Tomsk, Tyumen and Chelyabinsk. ER is now in the process of testing the 4,870km network.

Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has expanded its 4G network using TD LTE technology from Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) to upgrade its GSM and 3G infrastructure. NSN will provide 4G infrastructure across 2,500 STC sites over the next two years, including its FlexiPacket Microwave transport medium for STC’s GSM, 3G and 4G networks. As part of the deal, NSN will also upgrade STC’s NetAct network management system to improve monitoring and management of network operations.

Mauritian operator Bharat Telecom is launching an FTTH service on the island. Bharat hopes to deliver broadband and IPTV to Mauritian citizens and intends to use the digital infrastructure to act as a carrier backbone for other service providers in the country, operating in the gaming and WebTV sectors. Rollout of the FTTH network has been on-going since 2011 and is now at the stage of connecting homes and businesses.

France Telecom Orange’s chairman and CEO Stéphane Richard has presented plans to roll-out LTE networks in all of its European markets by 2015. The company’s list of 10 commitments, presented to the European Commission, also included increasing FTTH coverage to 15 million houses and 80% of businesses in France by 2020, and the launch of Rich Communications Suite (RCS) services in five European countries in 2013.

US carrier AT&T has introduced a network sourcing solution. AT&T’s Network Sourcing includes consulting, design, management, and operation services for large and medium-sized businesses. It is claimed to allow customers to manage complexity, control costs and improve productivity. AT&T says that it will provide services in support of enterprise mobility, security, voice, IP telephony, virtual private networking, local area networking and cloud solutions.

Turkcell Superonline has partnered with solutions platform company, Interoute, to aid network diversity in Turkey. The Turkish-operator will connect to Interoute’s pan-European fibre optic network, with both companies outlining resiliency on networks as a key driver behind the partnership. Turkcell’s connection with Interoute, which will provide the operator with dedicated bandwidth, is expected to serve its customers with better data and voice services both locally and internationally.

Digicel has launched 4G services through its local subsidiary in Samoa. The service is claimed to offer faster and more reliable internet connections to customers. Although the operator did not specify what technology was being used for the 4G service it is thought to be a HSPA+21 network. Digicel has marketed HSPA+ as 4G in other Caribbean nations and local competitor, BlueSky was the first to launch HSPA+ service, which it marketed as 4G.

Asian provider Pacnet, has launched its second cloud data centre in Hong Kong. The Tier 3 Hong Kong CloudSpace2 (HKCS2) facility is located on the Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate. Pacnet’s Hong Kong CloudSpace data centres are located 100 metres apart, within one of the company’s wholly owned cable landing stations. This provides direct access to Pacnet’s EAC-C2C subsea cable network, which the company claims will offer high-capacity, low-latency international connectivity to customers.

MTN Cyprus is claiming to be the first operator to launch HSPA+ services on the island nation. MTN’s network initially covers 40% of the population, with opportunities to expand coverage in the future being considered.