Friday Network News: April 13

13 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.

Commercial services have been launched on the LION2 submarine cable, which connects between Kenya and the LION cable with a branch to the island of Mayotte. LION2 provides Mayotte with broadband connectivity for the first time, and offers further diversity to Kenya. LION2 consortium members include France Telecom-Orange, Emtel and Société Réunionnaise du Radiotéléphone.

Belarusian state-owned incumbent Beltelecom is to launch the country’s first commercial 100G WDM network. The 1,200km network, which is being deployed by Huawei, will span from Grodno, bordering Poland, to Vitebsk, bordering Russia. It will have a capacity of up to 8Tbs and will offer ultra-broad bandwidth for data services in Belarus as well as leased-line services, transmitted between Europe and Asia, for Russian carriers.

AT&T has expanded its 4G LTE network to St Louis, US, the 32nd city to be covered by the network. The carrier has also expanded services in Staten Island, New York. Average speeds available on the network are thought to be between 7Mbps and 20Mbps. AT&T is significantly behind Verizon in the roll-out of LTE, which has launched services in more than 200 US markets.

Bharti airtel has launched India’s first 4G LTE network in Kolkata. The operator is planning to expand TD LTE services to Bangalore within a month, followed by Pune and Chandigarh later this year. There have also been reports that Bharti is planning to acquire additional 4G licences from other companies to enable it to further expand its LTE footprint.

Russian carrier Rostelecom has announced an MVNO agreement with LTE operator Scartel. Testing for the agreement is expected to begin on July 1 2012, paving the way for a September launch. By utilising an MVNO model, Rostelecom is hoping to optimise its costs and resources when providing 4G services in the near future. Rostelecom is expected to roll out LTE services across other regions at a later date

Singaporean operator StarHub has selected Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) for the deployment of its 4G infrastructure. As part of the deployment, StarHub will re-farm its existing 1800MHz GSM spectrum to offer nationwide LTE service. The first phase of the company’s LTE network is expected to go live by the end of 2012, covering key business areas, including Singapore Changi Airport, Marina Bay, Sunet and Shenton Way.

Etisalat Nigeria is reportedly planning to boost its network coverage, with an investment of $193.8 million in its mobile network. Local sources report that the investment will be used to roll out 1000 additional base station transceivers by the end of the year, to widen network coverage and improve service quality.

Work has reportedly begun on the $500 million regional cable network (RCN) project, connecting from Fujairah, UAE to Istanbul, Turkey and onwards to Europe. The 7,750km RCN is planned to travel directly through Syria and is being implemented in collaboration with the Syrian Telecommunications Establishment. Other partners in the project include Turkish operator Turkcell, its wholly-owned subsidiary Superonline, the UAE’s Etisalat, Saudi Arabia’s Mobily, Jordan Telecom and Jordanian conglomerate Mada-Zain Consortium.

French operators SFR and Bouygues Telecom are reportedly considering a network sharing agreement in the rural areas of the country. Negotiations have taken place with a view to cut operating expenses by up to 10%, according to local sources. However, both parties are said to have put talks on hold to engage separately with French TV broadcaster TDF, which has several thousand transmission masts in rural areas.

BT’s network subsidiary Openreach is reportedly preparing to open access to it 80Mbps FTTC product on a wholesale basis to all communications providers offering services via its fibre platform. Separately the telco announced this week that it had increased the speed of its broadband offering for customers, with downstream speeds of up to 76Mbps and upstream speeds of up to 19Mbps.