Friday Network News: May 4

04 May 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.

Dutch cable operator Zesko Holding, which trades as Ziggo, has launched a 4G LTE network for business customers. The 4G service uses spectrum in the 2600MHz band and is being offered to customers on a cable subscription in the cities of Bred, Zwolle, and Oss. Ziggo said it has no plans to expand its service offering to the consumer segment in the future.

The $650 million WACS cable system, which links southern Africa, west Africa and Europe is due to go live on May 11, according to the cable’s management committee. WACS is 14,500km in length and will utilise a four fibre pair 128 wavelength system, with a design capacity of 5.12Tbps. The cable will have landings in Namibia, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Cape Verde, the Canary Islands, Portugal and the UK with a PoP in London. It claims to be the first cable to land in Namibia, Togo, the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Omani telecoms company Nawras has selected Huawei as its preferred bidder for a network modernisation project and managed services. The selection will see the vendor provide and modernise a radio access network to accommodate the launch of developments, including the launch of LTE. Both sides also intend to sign an agreement for managed services covering Nawras’ fixed and mobile networks, but the final details of the contract are still to be negotiated.

Portugal Telecom has improved its domestic 4G footprint to cover 80% of the population. The expansion of coverage was possible due to the switching off of the analogue terrestrial system on April 26, freeing the 800MHz frequency band for use. The increase is significant given that coverage previously stood at 20% of the population. Portugal Telecom intends to extend coverage to 90% of the population by the end of 2012.

Belgian operator Mobistar and cableco Telenet have extended their full MVNO agreement until 2017. Through a partnership with Telenet, cable and telecoms operator VOO will also be able to use the full MVNO agreement to provide mobile services to its permanent clients.

UK enterprise telco TalkTalk Business has launched a portfolio of hosted solutions including hosted contact centre, UC, call recording and data centre services. The launch follows a recent survey conducted by the company which showed that 83% of resellers believed that the cloud represents a huge opportunity for their business. TalkTalk claims that the solutions promise resilient and reliable delivery over TalkTalk Business’ NGN.

Data centre provider Equinix has entered into an agreement to acquire five data centres, one disaster recovery centre and one data centre under construction from Asia Tone, in a $230.5 million cash deal. The facilities are located across Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore and will significantly expand Equinix’s capacity across Asia-Pacific. The Shanghai facility will provide Equinix with an additional 80,000 square feet of data centre space, and is expected to target its multi-national customers looking to expand into China. It is scheduled to be available to the company in the second half of 2012.

Bahraini telco, Batelco, is carrying out a network modernisation work to enhance its voice and ISDN services. The modernisation is scheduled to take place from May 7 and will continue across the country until May 23. Batelco says that the modernisation is part of its ongoing strategy to enhance its networks and keep them on par with the high international standards.

Australian operators Optus and Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) have signed a binding MoU to share 3G and 4G mobile sites. The MoU, which expands on the current joint venture agreement between the two companies, will improve Optus’ coverage by approximately 20% by 2015 through nearly 1000 additional mobile sites. Optus claims that the agreement will also accelerate the delivery of improved 3G and 4G services to customers by 12-18 months and provide both operators with savings by sharing the cost of new infrastructure. Optus will also become the exclusive roaming partner for VHA customers in certain regional areas from April 2013 to 2018.

Nokia Siemens Networks is aiming to record world record TD LTE speeds of 1Gbps at the CTIA Wireless event, following successful lab tests, and is also adding new products to its TD LTE portfolio. NSN’s new product offerings include a four pipes radio frequency module and three new data devices. The four pipes radio frequency module is claimed to deliver 50% more transmit power than other vendor’s products in the same category, enabling 50% more coverage. The three devices being offered include a plug and play dongle modem, mobile hotspot router and an indoor broadband modem for subscribers.

France Telecom-Orange has launched a multiservice IPX offering for converged IP services. The solution is claimed to provide more efficient connectivity between networks for fixed and mobile operators, allowing them to optimise their revenues. IPX services offered by France Telecom include voice, MMS, signalling and mobile applications. The launch of the service is, according to the carrier, part of Orange’s strategy to provide its customers with innovative international wholesale services.