Friday Network News: April 6

06 April 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.

Brazilian state-owned telco, Telebras, has reportedly signed a fibre-optic network sharing agreement with local player Cemig Telecom. The deal will expand the eastern ring of Brazil’s national broadband programme to Rio de Janeiro, Campinas and Belo Horizonte. Telebras and Cemig Telecom may expand their partnership in the future to include additional cities and regions, including Minas Gerais State.

MVNO Virgin Mobile, is to launch its first quad play offering in France, combining fixed voice, internet, TV, and mobile telephony services. The offering will place Virgin in direct competition with existing operators France Telecom-Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom, as well as Illiad, whose price-cutting mobile operation, Free, has shaken up the market. Virgin is seeking to respond to Free’s successful low cost tariffs with its own cut-price offerings to attract customers.

Pan-Caribbean operator Digicel has acquired Haitian mobile operator Comcel, from Trilogy International Partners. As part of the agreement the two operators will continue to be run separately in Haiti. Digicel is Haiti’s largest operator with 64.6% market share in December 2011. The company launched in Haiti in 2005 and has since invested over $600 million in its network.

Indian operator, Bharti airtel is expected to launch a TD LTE network in Calcutta before the end of April according to local sources. ZTE has been selected to supply and manage the network, which will be one of the first LTE networks to go live in the country. “The impending launch of 4G in the country will provide ultra high-speed data access, driving fundamental changes in society at large,” said Sanjay Kapoor, CEO India & South Asia at Bharti airtel.

Data centre provider Equinix has announced it has already commenced the expansion of its Sydney 3 (SY3) facility, six months ahead of schedule. The company, which has made an initial investment of $50 million, has now begun the second phase of development on its third Sydney International Business Exchange, following successful completion of phase one late last year.

Canadian carrier, Rogers Communications has expanded its LTE network to two more cities, Calgary and Halifax. Rogers intends to cover 60% of the Canadian population with its LTE network by the end of 2012, with expansion plans in more than 25 other cities across the country. The carrier recently launched LTE in St John’s, New Foundland, and has successfully expanded its LTE network to Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal since launching in Ottawa last summer.

Bharti airtel has reportedly launched mobile operations in Rwanda, with the aim of investing more than $100 million in 2G/3G in the country over the next three years. Ericsson will be responsible for the end-to-end management of the network, including managed services and operations/business support systems. Bharti has also continued its African partnership with IBM, which will deploy and manage Bharti’s IT infrastructure and applications in Rwanda.

Telekom Austria’s Slovenian subsidiary Si. mobil has expanded its 3G/3.5G mobile broadband coverage to over 90% of the population. This is a rise of 34% from the beginning of last year, with Si claiming that it now has the largest 3G footprint in the country. The expansion was part of a €20 million network investment by the operator, with a similar amount expected to be invested this year in the western and south western regions of the country.

The deployment of the Seychelles East Africa System (SEAS) submarine cable has begun. SEAS will connect between Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania and the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean. The 1,900km cable is due to be completed in mid-May and will enable the islands to have direct high-speed access to the internet and cheaper bandwidth.

China Telecom has selected ZTE to build a phase two IP multimedia subsystem network covering 12 Chinese provinces. As part of the deal, ZTE will provide fixed network transformation, security networking, development interworking and network evolution to China Telecom. ZTE claims that when the network is completed it will be the largest of its kind in the world.