Friday Network News: August 17

17 August 2012 |


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

Polish fixed-line provider Netia Group has signed a four year managed services agreement with Ericsson. The equipment vendor will be responsible for the maintenance and management of Netia Group’s network, and support the provision of services to Netia Group’s residential and business customers. The contract expands upon a previous agreement between the two companies and expands its geographic reach to include the networks of Telefonia Dialog and Crowley telecommunication, which were acquired by Netia in December 2011.

MTN’s South African unit is reportedly looking to launch 4G LTE services before the end of 2012, according to news site PANA. The carrier is said be considering the viability of switching on the LTE network this year and has reportedly marked three main cities for the initial rollout. MTN’s CTO Kanagaratnam Lambotharan is quoted as saying that 200 LTE sites are now live as part of a pilot running on 10MHz of re-farmed 1800MHz spectrum, offering speeds of 70Mbps and latency of under 15 milliseconds. The pilot network operates in areas including parts of Sandton, Fourways, Centurion, Oliver R Tambo International Airport and MTN’s head office in Roodeport. It will reportedly be expanded depending on progress with the re-farming.

Telecom Argentina has awarded a contract to provide the infrastructure for the first part of an FTTH network to cable vendor Prysmian Group. The company will work with installation contractor Valtellina Sud América for the deployment, which will serve 4000 homes with an initial connection rate of just under 40%. This project is the first phase of Telecom Argentina’s plan to roll out high speed broadband in urban areas and will be mainly focused on the capital Buenos Aires. Work for the contract is due to start immediately and will continue for two years while Telecom Argentina plans the next phases of the FTTH rollout.

Philippine carrier PLDT has more than doubled its international bandwidth capacity with the completion of the $400 million Asia Submarine-Cable Express (ASE) cable on August 10. The 7,200km projects uses 40Gbps technology with the potential to upgrade to 100Gbps in the future, and has a minimum design capacity of 15 Terabits. PLDT expects the project to enhance the Philippines’ global competiveness and attract investments for business process outsourcing industries. The carrier also intends to expand its broadband services through the cable with bandwidth heavy applications such as IP-based data, external video content other external multimedia services. ASE is expected to go live on August 20.

Ukrainian provider Vega Telecom Group has joined the AMS-IX internet exchange in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The move follows Vega’s connection to the Moscow traffic exchange point in May and is considered an important step for improving quality and quantity of data exchange and internet access services in the Ukraine. Connection to AMS-IX will enable Vega to exchange traffic with more than 500 participants, boosting the provider’s position on the international market.

Airtel Uganda, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, has launched a nationwide HSPA+ network. The service is capable of providing theoretical download speeds of 21Mbps and is available in more than 30 towns and cities, with nine more set to be added soon. Airtel claims to have the largest HSPA+ network in Uganda with over 200 active towers and a total of over 400 expected to be reached in the near future.

Nordic carrier TeliaSonera has entered into two agreements to acquire the WiMAX operations of Kazakhstan’s Alem Communications for $170 million and to acquire a $35 million stake in fibre provider KazTransCom. Included in the Alem acquisition are WiMAX networks in six cities and 2.5/2.6GHz spectrum, which could also be used for LTE services. The KazTransCom transaction comes through an in principle agreement with Visor Group, in which both parties would make indirect minority investments in the provider. TeliaSonera will also be given the option to increase its indirect ownership of the company in the future.

US carrier Verizon Wireless has increased the reach of its 4G LTE network to 34 additional markets and extended its footprint in 38 of its existing markets. The launches brings Verizon’s market total to 371 across the country, equivalent to 75% of the US population. Verizon Wireless CTO said that the carrier was ahead of schedule with its LTE market rollout and expected to reach the 400 milestone in the near future. During 2013 the carrier will then focus on enhancements to its 3G network.

UAE carrier du is claiming to have launched the country’s most widely accessible 100Mbps home broadband service. It said that virtually all of its customers could upgrade to the service, which offers download speeds of 100Mbps and upload speeds of 10Mbps.However, a minority of customers will not be eligible due to infrastructure restrictions in their buildings.

Deutsche Telekom has signed a long term cooperation agreement with cable network operator ANTEC Servicepool to supply approximately 33,000 apartments in Hannover, German, with TV and radio signals from April 2013. As part of the agreement Deutsche Telekom will provide a backward-channel capable network and supply TV and radio singles until the transfer point. ANTEC will then transmit the signals to the apartments of residents, using the existing coaxial network.

China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, is reportedly planning to invest $122.5 million in the construction of a Global Network Centre (GNC) in Hong Kong. The carrier hosted a stone-laying ceremony for the centre at Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate on Tuesday, according to news site TelecomAsia. China Mobile’s GNC will have an internal space of 24,335 square metres and is expected to serve as a submarine cable landing and transmission hub, internet data centre, cloud computing centre and global network operation centre. Construction of the GNC expected to be completed in early 2014 and it will operate as a base for the carrier’s international telecommunications services, connecting its network to the rest of the world via submarine cable systems landing in Hong Kong.