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 Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Worldwide international Internet capacity growth continues to slow, falling from 41% in 2011 to 31% in 2015. However, even with the declining pace of growth, backbone operators deployed 43Tbps of new capacity in the past year alone. New data from TeleGeography’s Global Internet Geography research service reveal that growth in international internet capacity connected to Africa continues to outpace that of any other region.

African Internet bandwidth grew 41% between 2014 and 2015, and 51% compounded annually over the last five years, to reach 2.9Tbps. Oceania saw the second fastest growth rate of 47% per year between 2011 and 2015 to reach 2.1Tbps, and capacity in Latin America and the Middle East grew 44% per year to 20.6Tbps and 8.4Tbps, respectively. While international internet capacity in each of these regions has doubled every two years over the period, growth in Europe and the US and Canada was far slower, at 33% compounded annually.

Despite the varying pace of new deployments, internet capacity growth has slowed in all regions over the past five years. This trend has been especially apparent in Africa. Despite the continent recording strong capacity growth between 2011 and 2015, it was a far cry from the 93% compound annual growth rate seen between 2006 and 2010.

Furthermore, while North African and Sub-Saharan African international internet bandwidth increased more than 90% compounded annually between 2006 and 2010, growth rates among the sub-regions have varied substantially in recent years. Between 2011 and 2015, internet bandwidth connected to countries in Sub-Saharan Africa rose at a much faster clip than that connected to North African countries, growing 66% and 43% per year, respectively.

‘New cable builds on the east and west coasts of Africa, including ACE, SEACOM, EASSy, WACS, and others, along with new terrestrial networks, have greatly increased available capacity in the Sub-Saharan region,’ said TeleGeography Senior Analyst Patrick Christian. ‘Meanwhile, content is moving to Africa as CDN services emerge and Google Global Cache servers are installed, tempering demand for long-haul capacity.’

TeleGeography’s Global Internet Geography is a comprehensive source of data and analysis about international Internet capacity, traffic, service providers, ASN connectivity, and pricing. It provides profiles of 119 backbone operators, international Internet metrics for 79 countries, and detailed transit pricing data for 38 countries.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015 13:52:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 28 January 2015

State-owned fixed line incumbent Uzbektelecom has added 390 premises in Tashkent to its fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) network, UzDaily writes. The telco’s fibre network, the deployment of which has been financed by the China Development Bank, has so far passed 3,287 premises, including 915 connected in 2014.

In a related development, the telco has cut tariffs for international bandwidth for internet service providers (ISPs) for the fourth time this year, dropping prices to USD251.94 per Mbps from USD253.74. Earlier this month, Uzbektelecom cut the price to USD259.29, before lowering the cost to USD257.42 and USD253.74. Prices for international bandwidth have been steadily falling in recent years; TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that the price fell from USD1,510 per Mbps in March 2010 to USD529 by the end of 2011.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015 09:36:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 21 January 2015

The World Bank has given an update on the expected timetable for the Republic of Benin to be connected to the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) high speed international submarine cable, which is currently in its second-phase rollout of connectivity to additional countries on Africa’s Atlantic coast. The Bank stated that a technical team from Alcatel-Lucent – the consortium cable’s main technology partner – deployed equipment in the transmission room of the Cotonou (Benin) cable landing station in late-December 2014, while the cable laying ship is scheduled to reach Cotonou on 24 February 2015, and Benin will be connected to ACE on 3 March 2015, quoting Alcatel-Lucent projections. In parallel, the architecture of the system allowing the switching and routing of international traffic between ACE and Benin’s sole existing submarine cable link (to the SAT-3/WASC system), is currently being designed by an international consultant financed by the project, the World Bank’s report disclosed. Moreover, building works to house a new Beninese internet exchange point (IXP) ‘should be completed in January 2015,’ although noting that ‘the crossing of the site by the power line feeding the landing station is nevertheless a major obstacle that could delay the works. The Bank and project teams are monitoring this issue and working with the utility company to avoid any further delays.’

Benin’s involvement in the ACE consortium (led by France’s Orange) is being managed via a local special purpose vehicle (SPV) named Benin ACE GIE, a joint venture which includes local mobile operators and internet service providers (ISPs). The World Bank’s latest report says that the operating team at BENIN ACE GIE now has three appointed permanent staff and eight cable landing station technicians. It adds that the draft licence for operating access to the ACE cable via BENIN ACE GIE is currently under review within the various legal departments of the SPV members, as questions have been raised about legal status: the current legal framework for the SPV remains ‘vague’, and this status may be ‘difficult to reconcile with the conditions for open and non-discriminatory access [to ACE cable bandwidth], as capacity allocation to new entrants could pose problems.’ The report continued that once the cable is operational, the legal issues will be further examined to identify the ‘most adequate legal status for the SPV’. Referencing the relatively recent launch of ACE connectivity in another western African country, Guinea, the World Bank added that: ‘In order to build on the Guinean experience, the project team will travel to Conakry in the second quarter of 2015 to meet and exchange with their Guinean counterparts.’

The latest timetable was given in a report dated 25 December 2014 as part of an assessment of World Bank-supported project ‘WARCIP 1-C’ which aims to help increase the geographical reach of broadband networks and to reduce the costs of communications services in Benin

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015 10:10:36 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 01 May 2014

New data from TeleGeography’s Global Bandwidth Research Service reveal that demand for international bandwidth grew 39 percent to 138 Tbps in 2013, a 4.5-fold increase from the 30 Tbps of bandwidth used globally in 2009.

Internet backbones remain the primary users of international bandwidth, accounting for 75 percent of demand in 2013. However, the drivers of international bandwidth demand are changing. As private network operators, including large content providers like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, expand their internal networks, their bandwidth requirements increasingly exceed those of the largest carriers.

International Internet Backbone and Private Network Capacity Growth

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 01 May 2014 14:01:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 21 February 2014

According to new data from TeleGeography’s Global Bandwidth Forecast Service, Africa is expected to lead the world in international bandwidth demand growth in the coming years. Africa’s international bandwidth demand is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 51% between 2012 and 2019. At this rate, African demand would outpace that of both Latin America and the Middle East, which are each projected to rise 37% annually.

Countries in sub-Saharan Africa, especially, will contribute to the continent’s appetite for international bandwidth. Among those with the fastest growing demand are Angola, which is projected to grow 71% annually over the next seven years, Tanzania, which is projected to grow 68%, and Gabon, which is expected to rise 67%.

While Africa’s demand for international bandwidth is growing rapidly, it remains very small by comparison with other world regions. African demand is projected to reach 17.2Tbps in 2019, which equates to only one-fourth the projected demand of Latin America, and less than that of Canada alone.

Nevertheless, international capacity connected to Africa will increase tremendously via upgrades to existing submarine cable systems and new cable builds, and bandwidth prices on these routes will fall accordingly. ‘The price of a 10Gbps wavelength between Johannesburg and London in 2019 is projected to be less than a quarter of the 2012 price,’ said TeleGeography Research Director Alan Mauldin. ‘Moreover, as bandwidth buyers transition to larger circuits, they will be able to obtain greater volume discounts, compounding the effect of bandwidth price declines.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 21 February 2014 15:42:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The Palau-based wireless broadband provider Palau Telecoms has signed a letter of intent with equipment vendor Xtera Communications for the supply and installation of a submarine cable system to connect Palau to Guam. According to a report from Telecompaper, the system will provide high-capacity, fibre-optic connection to Guam, with onward connectivity to the US mainland, the Asia-Pacific region, Australia and New Zealand via interconnects with existing and planned submarine cable systems. The optical communication infrastructure will supplement the satellite links that currently serve Palau, allowing Palau Telecoms to increase the capacity, enhance the availability and reduce the latency of its services. The cable system is planned for completion in mid-2015.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014 10:52:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 31 October 2013

A consortium of Middle East operators has unveiled plans for a new terrestrial network that would link several Gulf states to Turkey and Europe. UAE operator du, Vodafone Qatar, and Kuwaiti operators Zajil and Zain Group, announced their plans for the Middle East-Europe Terrestrial System (MEETS) in Dubai on 30 September. The first phase, scheduled to launch in Q1 2014, is a terrestrial link between the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait. It is comprised of a fibre pair running alongside the Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority’s regional power grid. The second phase of MEETS would extend connectivity from Kuwait to Turkey via Iraq.

The new network will help meet rapidly growing demand for international capacity in the region. According to data from TeleGeography’s Global Bandwidth Research Service, the aggregate international bandwidth requirements of the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait grew at a compound annual rate of 69% between 2008 and 2012.

‘MEETS will be a welcome addition to the growing number of terrestrial routes in the Middle East,’ said TeleGeography analyst Paul Brodsky. ‘These routes not only offer geographic diversity but avoid the submarine cable bottleneck in Egypt.’

Several other overland routes between the Middle East and Europe already exist. The Europe-Persia Express Gateway (EPEG) was launched in January 2013, and links Germany to Oman via Russia, Azerbaijan, and Iran. In February, submarine cable operator Gulf Bridge International (GBI) introduced GBI-North, a terrestrial fibre network linking the company’s Iraqi landing station to Turkey. Also in early 2013, Turk Telekom International and Palestine Telecom launched a hybrid route dubbed Paltel. Their alternative to the Europe-Asia route via Egypt spliced together subsea capacity on the MedNautilus system with terrestrial capacity on Palestine Telecom’s network, extending to the Jordanian border. Two other systems, Jeddah Amman Damascus Istanbul (JADI) and the Regional Cable Network (RCN), have been built but remain inactive due to the instability in Syria.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 31 October 2013 09:30:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 15 July 2013

After several missed opportunities, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has finally managed to connect the country’s telecoms infrastructure to the West Africa Cable System (WACS) submarine network, which links South Africa to the UK. According to Agence Ecofin the launch event took place on 14 June, with the submarine cable’s management committee informing telecoms minister Tryphon Kin-Kiey Mulumba that the cable was now ready for service.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that when the WACS cable was initially due to be landed and tested in May 2011, the DRC found itself completely unprepared, with the company hired to build the landing station yet to actually start construction. Despite a recommendation from French-US equipment manufacturer Alcatel-Lucent, which endorsed an Indian company called ‘Creative Electronics’ to build the station and deploy a fibre-optic cable route to the capital, the Societe Congolaise des Postes et Telecommunications (SCPT) intervened and overruled the government and instead gave the job to local company Smart Trading Ideas. Smart had neither experience nor knowledge of the technology they were hired to utilise, and in April 2011, when the boat deploying the WACS arrived, the cable could not be connected at Muanda as there was no infrastructure in place to do so. Further, in May 2012 it was revealed that the problems had been exacerbated by financial irregularities at the SCPT, which saw USD3 million worth of government funds effectively ‘vanish’; the director general was subsequently charged with high treason and jailed for his part in the scandal.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 15 July 2013 07:59:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Tonga’s fibre-optic cable has been connected to Fiji International Telecommunications’ (FINTEL’s) communication systems, FBC News reports. With the capacity of the link between the two countries said to be around 20Gbps, FINTEL’s network and communications manager Laisiasa Nakacea was cited as saying: ‘FINTEL will be the gateway for communication between the two countries. For Tonga they will witness the introduction of high speed broadband … and a lot of other new services that will be introduced to Tonga on the high speed cable that we will be putting in today.’ The completion of the links between the two countries is expected within the next few weeks.

The development follows the signing of a landing party agreement between FINTEL and Tonga Cable Ltd in December 2011, with the cost of the World Bank-funded Tonga-Fiji cable project at that date estimated at USD32 million, according to local press reports.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013 08:54:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 03 June 2013

Mark Simpson, CEO of SEACOM, has indicated that the privately funded, 75% African-owned submarine cable system company is working towards ‘closing the ring’ around South Africa by building what it is tentatively calling the South African Marine System (SAMS) cable that will link Yzerfontein in the Western Cape with Mtunzini in KwaZulu-Natal, via Port Elizabeth and East London. Simpson believes that subsea cables offer higher performance and lower cost than terrestrial ones, and hopes that the link will provide redundancy into the Eastern Cape while also offering protection for the Johannesburg to Cape Town routes.

Speaking at the Satcom conference in Sandton, South Africa, Simpson told TechCentral: ‘It is about offering resilience and reliability and closing the African ring from east to west. The bottleneck has moved inland. There is no longer a shortage of capacity on cable systems. International supply is abundant and relatively low cost at the beach. The cost, availability and reliability of terrestrial distribution is holding back the benefits that could accrue’.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 03 June 2013 08:29:27 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 23 May 2013
Orange Tunisia and Qtel mobile subsidiary Tunisiana have signed an agreement with European carrier Interoute for the commissioning of a submarine cable connecting Kelibia, Tunisia, to Mazara del Vallo, Sicily. The 170 km cable called Didon will be Tunisia's first private submarine cable. It is due to be commissioned in April 2014 and to deliver a capacity of 8Tbps per operator. The cable will connect to Interoute's European fibre network at the landing point in Italy. It will use Alcatel-Lucent 100G submarine technology and will expand the capabilities of Orange Tunisia and Tunisiana's existing international networks, providing better throughput to support growth in fixed and mobile data traffic.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Thursday, 23 May 2013 12:59:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 06 May 2013

New data from TeleGeography’s Global Bandwidth Research Service reveal that demand for international bandwidth grew 39% in 2012, and at a compounded annual rate of 53% between 2007 and 2012.

International bandwidth demand growth has been robust on all five of the world’s major submarine cable routes, but has been particularly rapid on key routes to emerging markets in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. While bandwidth demand on the trans-Atlantic route – which has long been the world’s highest-capacity route – increased at a healthy rate of 36% annually between 2007 and 2012, demand for bandwidth from the US to Latin America grew 70% per year over the same period, and demand for capacity on the Europe-Asia route via Egypt grew a staggering 87% per year.

Telcos have kept up with increasing bandwidth demand by building new cables and upgrading existing systems, deploying a total of 54Tbps of new capacity between 2007 and 2012. Carriers’ new capacity deployments reflect the changing patterns of international bandwidth demand. Between 1997 and 2002, the amount of new capacity deployed across the Atlantic was greater than the amount deployed on the trans-Pacific, US-Latin America, Intra-Asia, and Europe-Asia routes, combined. Similarly, between 2002 and 2007, nearly half of all new capacity was deployed on the trans-Atlantic route. Over the past five years, however, new capacity deployments have become remarkably balanced, with each of the world’s major routes gaining between 10Tbps and 12Tbps.

‘While the total amount of lit bandwidth on routes to developing markets remains smaller than on routes between mature markets, demand on emerging market routes is growing much faster,’ said TeleGeography analyst Paul Brodsky. ‘Consequently, as telcos upgrade submarine cable networks to meet bandwidth demand, new capacity deployments are being distributed ever more evenly around the world.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 06 May 2013 09:21:46 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 30 January 2013

In a statement published in Cuban newspaper Granma, state-owned telecoms operator Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba (ETECSA) has confirmed that internet traffic is being carried by the island’s first submarine fibre-optic cable. The telecoms monopoly stated that the Alternativa Bolivariana para los Pueblos de nuestra America (ALBA-1) cable, which connects Cuba to Venezuela, has been carrying international voice traffic since August 2012, while data traffic tests have been carried out on the cable since 10 January 2013. When the testing process is completed, however, ETECSA noted that the launch of the cable ‘will not automatically mean that the possibility of access will increase,’ adding that investment in the domestic telecoms infrastructure is required and that even then the goal is ‘gradual growth of a service that we offer mostly for free and with social aims in mind.’ Historically, Cuba has had to access the internet via expensive and slow satellite connections, but earlier this month internet monitoring firm Renesys observed that the ALBA-1 cable had finally been activated, almost two years after the system first landed on the island.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013 08:48:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 24 January 2013

A fibre-optic undersea cable that links Cuba with the global internet via Venezuela appears to have finally been activated, almost two years after the system first landed on the island. In the past week, internet monitoring firm Renesys has observed much lower latencies in Cuba, while noting that Spanish telecoms firm Telefonica has begun service to the island’s state-owned telecoms monopoly, Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba (ETECSA). The 1,600km cable, known as Alternativa Bolivariana para los Pueblos de nuestra America (ALBA-1), landed on Siboney beach in Cuba in February 2011, but no further developments on the cable’s progress have been reported until now. In an online blog, Renesys noted that traffic via the cable seems only to be flowing into the country, not out of it: ‘Telefonica’s service to ETECSA is, either by design or misconfiguration, using its new cable asymmetrically (i.e. for traffic in only one direction)… In such a configuration, ETECSA enjoys greater bandwidth and lower latencies (along the submarine cable) when receiving internet traffic but continues to use satellite services for sending traffic.’ Cuba accesses the internet via expensive and slow satellite connections, and while the activation of the undersea cable system is a first steps towards providing ETECSA with a better link to the internet, Renesys noted that it is unlikely to lead to widespread public access to the World Wide Web, in the short term at least.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 24 January 2013 10:06:06 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 20 December 2012

Equatorial Guinea is set to expand broadband connectivity next year, when it connects its national telecoms infrastructure to the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable, Biztech Africa reports. The ACE cable will be landed at Bata, Equatorial Guinea’s largest city and economic hub, where a control centre for the cable will be installed and is due to be operational by 6 December 2013. Management of the cable will fall to the newly established Management and Maintenance of Telecommunication Infrastructures Organisation in Equatorial Guinea (GITGE), which was set up in July this year. Carmelo Martin Modu, secretary of state for technology and telecommunications commented: ‘Equatorial Guinea is working to expand its broadband connectivity. We believe that through our participation in the ACE project, we will continue to reduce the digital divide that exists in our country and improve our communications’ quality and reach.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 20 December 2012 15:31:40 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Japanese-owned NTT Com Asia has landed the Asia Submarine-cable Express (ASE) fibre cable in Hong Kong, where it has set a target commercial launch date by the end of the first quarter of 2013. ASE connects Hong Kong to Japan, Singapore, the Philippines and Malaysia, and launched services on this four-country route in August 2012. The 7,800km fibre system (including the 300km section to Hong Kong), cost USD430 million to build.

As shown on TeleGeography’s Submarine Cable map site (based on the research firm’s Global Bandwidth Research Service), ASE is the eighth high speed undersea cable system landed in Hong Kong, with two others pending. The other seven existing cables are: APCN-2; Asia-America Gateway (AAG); EAC-C2C; FLAG North Asia Loop/REACH North Asia Loop; FLAG Europe-Asia (FEA); SeaMeWe-3; and Tata TGN-Intra Asia (TGN-IA). Two other planned systems are: Southeast Asia Japan Cable (SJC) and Asia Pacific Gateway (APG).

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 20 December 2012 15:27:47 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 01 October 2012

Niger’s state-owned telco Sonitel has begun work on laying a 300km fibre-optic cable link between Dosso and Konni, reports Afriscoop. At a launch ceremony, the country’s communications minister stated that the government’s goal is to increase broadband coverage from the 54% recorded in 2010 to 72% by 2015. Afriscoop also states that a second fibre link will connect Konni and Zinder, with work expected to begin in October.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, 01 October 2012 13:01:25 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Landlocked Botswana has inaugurated its link to the West African Cable System (WACS), which was launched last month and stretches 14,900km along the west coast of Africa, reports AFP. Botswana partnered with neighbouring Namibia in each raising USD37.5 million to invest in a 9.2% stake in the cable consortium. Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) will co-locate services within the Swakopmund landing station operated by Telecom Namibia, under the WACS open access policy. The USD750 million WACS submarine cable has a capacity of 5.12Tbps and links South Africa to the UK with landings in Namibia, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Cape Verde, the Canary Islands and Portugal.

Source: Telegeography.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012 12:16:47 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 17 July 2012

MTN Nigeria has introduced a range of new services for business customers based on the recently launched West African Cable System (WACS). IT News Africa reports that the services are managed by MTN Business and will provide high quality, low latency internet access to wholesalers such as internet service providers (ISPs), internet bandwidth resellers and carriers, as well as mobile users across the country. ‘MTN has the unique advantage of a pre-existing extensive terrestrial Internet Protocol (IP) and broadband backbone infrastructure, enabling us to deliver high grade and highly available internet capacity to anywhere and everywhere in Nigeria,’ said MTN’s chief enterprise solutions officer, Babatunde Osho. As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the USD650 million WACS cable system went live in May 2012, linking Europe, West Africa and South Africa with landings in the UK, Portugal, Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Namibia and South Africa. In Nigeria the cable is managed by MTN from its landing point to the last mile operated service. The total capacity of the system is 5.12Tbps.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012 13:41:26 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Reliance Globalcom, the submarine cable subsidiary of Reliance Communications, has announced that it has connected Iraq to its FALCON cable network at the Al-Faw landing station, which was built in partnership with Iraqi Telecommunications and Post Company (ITPC). Reuters cites a company statement from the Indian firm as saying that the launch of the landing station will connect Iraq directly to countries in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and North America. Reliance Globalcom said the station has a design capacity of 680Gbps with two diverse routes, which are integrated into the firm’s FALCON network. It will initially provide 50Gbps on each route to cater to existing market demand. ‘This is an extremely important strategic initiative that will facilitate the connectivity of all countries in the Middle East region to Iraq and also significantly improve the quality and speed as well as the reliability of Iraq’s connectivity to the rest of the world,’ Iraq’s Minister of Communications, Mohammed Allawi, was quoted as saying in the statement. Reliance Globalcom owns an undersea cable system spanning 65,000km, making it one of the world’s largest independent operators of submarine cables.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012 12:50:06 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 04 July 2012

Togo Telecom has announced that it is doubling mobile internet bundles for customers using its HELIM NOMAD tariff plans, without increasing their monthly bills. The move follows the announcement that the telco hoped to reduce prices once the West Africa Cable System (WACS) lands in the country. As reported previously by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, on 11 June Togo Telecom confirmed that it had inaugurated WACS with the central landing of the fibre-optic cable in Afidegnigba. At the time, the telco said it hoped to usher in a ‘new era’ in telecommunications for the Togolese, offering more affordable broadband internet connectivity for the nation.

True to its word, the telco says that from now the cost of a 1GB package bundle will be XOF7,880 (USD15) – it used to cost USD30 per month for a 1GB bundle – a 2GB bundle will now be USD30 a month, and the premium 3GB offer on the same tariff will be USD45. Togo Telecom has however, increased the cost of its fixed line (ADSL) connections – branded HELIM FIXED – but ‘honoured its promise to reduce internet tariffs for mobile subscribers,’ it said.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, 04 July 2012 16:05:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 22 June 2012

Pan-African telecoms service supplier Gateway Communications has announced that it has brought additional capacity from submarine cable SAT-3 to landlocked Botswana via South Africa, under its Southern African Development Community (SADC) initiative. Customers can now access high speed, reliable connectivity, which will help to improve Botswana’s economic sectors, including mining, tourism and agriculture. Gateway has also revealed that more routes are being added to the networks already created in Zambia and Malawi during the initial phase of its terrestrial network initiative. A new path, utilising both SAT-3 and SEACOM connectivity, has been developed to provide Zambia with a fully redundant path through Zimbabwe. During the next few months Gateway will be extending its terrestrial network by deploying another link into Malawi through the eastern border town of Mulanji. Under the next step of the project, Gateway aims to bring additional capacity to Mauritius by connecting the island via SAFE to a neutral data centre facility in South Africa and then onward to Europe via EASSy and SAT-3. This will connect Mauritius to Africa and will allow the country to connect internationally using Gateway’s pan-African MPLS network and international peering stations in London, UK. ‘Through this innovative project, we will make sure that the benefits of high speed services are available to everyone using our pan-African network,’ commented Mike van den Bergh, CEO of Gateway Communications, adding: ‘This brings us closer to our goal of ensuring that every country in Africa has access to cost-effective and reliable capacity.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 22 June 2012 15:01:12 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Middle Eastern carrier-neutral submarine fibre network operator Gulf Bridge International (GBI) and optical technology provider Xtera Communications have deployed what they claim to be the Mediterranean Sea’s first commercial 100Gbps repeatered submarine cable system on the GBI network connecting Egypt to Italy. Xtera provided its Nu-Wave Optima platform in a Submarine Line Terminal Equipment (SLTE) configuration delivering 100G waves on a fibre pair.

Elsewhere this week, GBI and Kuwaiti ISP/data services operator Gulfnet Communications announced the signing of a capacity sale agreement on the GBI undersea network, which offers routes from Europe to the Middle East and on to Asia. Also this week, Iraq’s Investment & Technology Group of Companies (via its ITC Communications division) signed a strategic alliance agreement with Hong Kong-based international carrier PCCW Global, following the Iraqi company winning a 15-year investment licence from Iraq Telecommunication & Post Company (ITPC) to market transmission capacity over the GBI fibre-optic cable connecting all Gulf coast countries. Fadil Mosawi, chairman of the Investment & Technology Group, said: ‘Together with the new GBI fibre cable, the Iraqi people will soon be able to connect to the rest of world with higher internet connection speed and enjoy new services including voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP), high definition TV, as well as a host of other business applications such as cloud computing. Video teleconferencing will make doing business with Iraq simpler and more efficient. Healthcare institutions and universities will also benefit from the availability of large bandwidth and higher access speeds.’ ITC Communications was previously licensed as a VSAT operator, providing international connectivity to Iraqis.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 22 June 2012 12:28:12 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Mobile operators in USA have spoken out at an industry conference regarding the limited data capacity and its long term effect on the industry. According to a report by Total telecom, executives from Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA said the future of data use, such as streaming video and photos, is at risk if more airwaves, or spectrum, aren’t put to use.
Verizon Wireless Chief Executive Dan Mead, speaking at the CTIA conference in New Orleans, said the largest carrier will be maxed out in some markets as early as next year and most others by 2015. The carrier is seeking regulatory authority to buy $3.9 billion worth of spectrum from a group of cable companies. He said that they will put this spectrum to use quickly.
T-Mobile’s CEO Philipp Humm said that they require more spectrum, more technologies to manage capacity. The carrier had hoped to be bought by AT&T Inc. last year as part of a $39 billion bid that was ultimately stopped by regulators. Humm said average monthly data use on T-Mobile’s network has risen more than five-fold over the past two years.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Friday, 22 June 2012 12:22:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Liberia’s president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has opened the terminal in Monrovia that houses the country’s connection to the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) undersea cable system, which connects 23 countries between France and South Africa. Liberia’s link to the 17,000km cable will be operational from October this year. ‘When this becomes operational Liberians will have easy access to information in the world and this will enable them to easily disseminate information to the outside world,’ President Sirleaf commented, according to a report from AFP.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 22 June 2012 12:11:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Mobile operators in USA have spoken out at an industry conference regarding the limited data capacity and its long term effect on the industry. According to a report by Total telecom, executives from Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA said the future of data use, such as streaming video and photos, is at risk if more airwaves, or spectrum, aren’t put to use.
Verizon Wireless Chief Executive Dan Mead, speaking at the CTIA conference in New Orleans, said the largest carrier will be maxed out in some markets as early as next year and most others by 2015. The carrier is seeking regulatory authority to buy $3.9 billion worth of spectrum from a group of cable companies. He said that they will put this spectrum to use quickly.
T-Mobile’s CEO Philipp Humm said that they require more spectrum, more technologies to manage capacity. The carrier had hoped to be bought by AT&T Inc. last year as part of a $39 billion bid that was ultimately stopped by regulators. Humm said average monthly data use on T-Mobile’s network has risen more than five-fold over the past two years.

Source: Wireless Federation.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012 09:54:41 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 16 March 2012

Construction of the Azerbaijani segment of a new fibre-optic international gateway system, which links Oman to Frankfurt in Germany via Russia and Iran, is nearing completion, Trend News Agency reports, citing Delta Telecom’s technical director Raed Alekberli. A test run of the Europe Persia Express Gateway (EPEG) is expected in the near future, Alekberli said. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, four international telecommunications companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in March 2011 to develop the EPEG cable system, namely: Oman’s incumbent fixed line operator Omantel, Iran-based Telecommunications Infrastructure Company (TIC), UK-based Cable & Wireless Worldwide and Russian carrier Rostelecom. The 6,000km cable system is expected to be ready for service in May 2012, helping to accommodate the increasing traffic from the MENA region, Central Asia, Russia and Europe, providing an alternative route to the Red Sea Systems.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 16 March 2012 16:08:14 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Morocco’s Maroc Telecom, part of France’s Vivendi Universal group, has started deployment of an international high speed fibre-optic submarine cable between Morocco and Spain, named ‘Loukkos’, which is scheduled to be ready for service in March this year. Moroccan newspaper Le Matin reports that the telco’s self-funded MAD143 million (USD16 million) cable linking Asilah in Morocco with Rota, Spain, is being supplied by Alcatel-Lucent unit Alcatel Submarine Networks and CanaLink. The 187km cable will have an initial capacity of 80Gbps, upgradeable to 1.28Tbps, and is designed to add diversity and redundancy to Maroc Telecom’s international traffic routes as well as cope with increasing demand from broadband service users and the trend for international offshoring activities, particularly call centres.

TeleGeography notes that Maroc Telecom part-owns the existing Spain-Morocco undersea fibre-optic cable Estepona-Tetouan, while the telco wholly owns the Atlas Offshore submarine cable linking Asilah in Morocco with Marseille, France, which was completed in April 2007 under a MAD300 million contract with Alcatel-Lucent. The partly state-owned operator also provides landing stations for the SEA-ME-WE-3 consortium cable and the legacy Eurafrica (Morocco-Portugal-France) system. It is also currently engaged in a project to link its African subsidiaries with a land-based international cable system to span Morocco, Mauritania, Western Sahara, Gabon, Mali and Burkina Faso.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012 09:31:06 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

MTN Swaziland has admitted that users of its long-delayed 3G network are experiencing problems with the service due to a lack of bandwidth. Corporate affairs manager Mpumelelo Makhubu told the Times of Swaziland that the South African-owned cellco has applied for additional spectrum from the Swaziland Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (SPTC), but has yet to receive a response from the regulator. Although Makhubu declined to elaborate on the precise details of the technical issues, the newspaper claims that the ‘network is still sluggish because there is an acute shortage of bandwidth’.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, MTN’s 3G network finally launched in October 2011, following a lengthy war of words between the cellco and the SPTC, which saw the latter accuse MTN of making unreasonable demands regarding 3G exclusivity. During the launch event, chief marketing officer Phillip Besiimire confirmed that the cellco had invested nearly SZL300 million (USD37.2 million) on the network, of which SZL37 million went on the long-denied 3G licence. Besiimire added that the company is also obliged to pay the SPTC a percentage of its profits as part of the agreement.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012 09:30:07 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Middle East submarine cable operator Gulf Bridge International (GBI) has announced the landing of its international fibre-optic GBI system in Qatar. Vodafone Qatar has set up a cable landing station north of Doha to link the country to the new high-capacity undersea network, which will add voice/data capacity and redundancy between all Gulf states and provide onward connectivity to Europe, Africa and Asia.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, 30 March 2011 07:18:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 03 September 2010

For a decade, West Africa's main connection to the Internet has been a single fiber-optic cable in the Atlantic, a tenuous and expensive link for one of the poorest areas of the planet.

But this summer, a second cable snaked along the West African coastline, ending at Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos. It has more than five times the capacity of the old one and is set to bring competition to a market where wholesale Internet access costs nearly 500 times as much as it does in the U.S.

It's the first of a new wave of investment that the U.N.'s International Telecommunications Union says will vastly raise the bandwidth available in West Africa by mid-2012.

Click here to see full article
Source: Cellular News
Friday, 03 September 2010 12:33:12 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Cable & Wireless Communications (C&W) has revealed plans to roll out a new Caribbean submarine cable, in the process more than doubling its carrier capacity in the region. It is understood the new cable, dubbed the ‘East-West’ link, will connect Jamaica and the Cayman Islands in the west of the Caribbean, to the British Virgin Islands (Tortola) in the east. The East-West cable will also land in the Dominican Republic, one of the operator’s key markets in the region. C&W’s mobile operations in the Caribbean, which are offered under the banner LIME, have already commenced work on deploying the cable which is expected to be operational by early 2011. The new cable is the third such submarine link constructed by Cable & Wireless Communications in the region since 2008, adding to the CBUS cable between Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands and the Gemini-Bermuda cable between Bermuda and the east coast of the US.

Source: TeleGeography

Wednesday, 26 May 2010 16:04:58 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 03 May 2010


New data from TeleGeography’s Global Bandwidth Research Service show that international network operators have weathered the recession surprisingly well. International bandwidth usage increased 60% in 2009, in line with the past two years, and well ahead of the trend of 2002-2006. Growth has been particularly rapid in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. However, capacity requirements to seemingly mature markets, such as Europe and the US, have also grown at a compounded annual rate of more than 50% since 2002.

Over the past seven years, aggregate international capacity requirements have grown more than 22-fold. Providers have kept pace with high demand by rapidly upgrading their fibre-optic networks with additional wavelengths. Nearly 90% of US terrestrial network operators surveyed by TeleGeography plan on lighting extra wavelengths in 2010, and just under 70% of European carriers plan on doing so.

The scope to expand submarine cable capacity is far more limited than that of terrestrial networks. High demand has combined with a relative scarcity of bandwidth to drive technological innovation, according to TeleGeography analyst Tim Stronge. 'Some undersea cable operators have managed to install far more wavelengths on existing cables than thought possible even just a few years ago,' noted Stronge. 'Providers are also exploring ways to squeeze additional capacity out of their cables by replacing 10Gbps wavelengths with 40Gbps wavelengths.'

Growing capacity requirements, combined with carriers’ desire for improved route diversity, have also spurred a boom in submarine cable construction. 17 new cables were built in 2009, and investment in submarine cable construction in 2010 is projected to top last year’s levels.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 03 May 2010 14:06:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Construction of the East Africa Submarine System (EASSy) international fibre-optic cable was completed ahead of schedule on Monday night, reports South African website Techcentral, quoting EASSy’s largest shareholder West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC). WIOCC stated: ‘The installation phase of the project, which started in Maputo, Mozambique in December 2009, was completed on board the cable-laying vessel Ile de Batz in the Indian Ocean, just off the east African coast ... Now that this critical stage of the project has been completed successfully and ahead of time, we will start system testing almost immediately ... Once this is finalised, we are looking forward to connecting our first customers to the network from July 2010. EASSy is the second high-capacity undersea system to connect the east African region, following the deployment in 2009 of the Seacom cable. WIOCC chief technology officer Ryan Sher set out how the new cable aimed to differentiate its services: ‘A key difference between EASSy and other sub-Saharan systems is that our system will deliver connectivity to Europe via a direct route through the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea ... minimising the time taken for traffic from Africa to reach the key internet peering points in Europe and North America ... With the vast majority of international traffic being internet-based, and with most African traffic destined for Europe and the US where the most popular content and applications are located.’

Shareholders in WIOCC include Botswana Telecommunications Corp, TelOne of Zimbabwe, Libyan Post, Telecom & IT Company, Dalkom Somalia, Djibouti Telecom, Gilat Satcom Nigeria, the Seychelles government,Lesotho Telecommunications Authority, Onatel Burundi, Telkom Kenya, TDM Mozambique, U-Com Burundi, Uganda Telecom and Zantel Tanzania. Capacity on EASSy will be available in increments from as little as 2Mbps up to multiple gigabit/s wavelengths.

Source: TeleGeography

Monday, 03 May 2010 13:53:47 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 02 March 2010

Togo Telecom has contracted Xtera Communications, a global provider of optical and IP networking solutions, to deploy a high capacity fibre-optic network across Togo. Phase I of the work was completed in January 2010. When completed, the deployment will migrate the current Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) long-distance domestic network to a new optical layer relying on advanced broadband optical amplification technology for higher capacity, providing enhanced network resilience and availability. The new network will also create a high-capacity, reliable backhaul system, connecting landlocked countries in the west sub-Saharan area to international submarine cable systems via Togo Telecom's cable landing station, which is part of the West African Cable System (WACS).

‘Togo Telecom's advanced nationwide optical network combined with the WACS infrastructure will offer landlocked countries in the sub-region and Togo access to the rest of the world,’ said Sam Bikassam, general manager of Togo Telecom. 'This will free landlocked countries from the exclusive use of microwave radio systems and satellite connectivity for international communications, enabling them to offer more reliable, higher capacity broadband services to their residential and business customers’ he added.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 15:06:36 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Moroccan communications group Maroc Telecom has reached 60% completion in the first phase of a plan to roll out a fibre-optic backbone network linking Morocco with West African countries, reports Dow Jones Newswires quoting Middle Eastern daily Asharq Al Awsat. Phase one of the network will link the capital of Mauritania, Nouakchott, to El Ouyoun in Western Sahara, revealed Maroc Telecom's president Abdulsalam Ahizoune, whilst the finished route will link Mauritania, Gabon, Mali and Burkina Faso, he said.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 14:52:26 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The planned Seahorse-1 submarine fibre-optic cable linking Miami, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and potentially Cuba, has had its rollout schedule rearranged, BNamericas was told by Cobian International, the parent of the system’s developer Triton Telecom. Cobian acquired the rights to what is now the Seahorse project that was originally being developed by the Trans-Caribbean Cable Company (TCCC) consortium. Phase one of the rollout has been repeatedly pushed back from 2009 and is now due to be completed in January 2011, when a direct route will connect Miami to Kingston, Jamaica. From there the optical ring will continue from Ocho Rios in Jamaica to the Dominican Republic, and then on to Puerto Rico and Miami, with completion set for early 2013. Additionally, Cobian is looking to deploy a branch leg from Jamaica to Cuba in the future.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 02 March 2010 14:49:03 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 08 January 2010

Bhutan Telecom has announced that it has agreed deals with Indian firms Reliance Globalcom and Bharti Airtel to upgrade its international links, tripling bandwidth to 330Mbps.

The company’s fibre links to London and Hong Kong have both been upgraded from 45Mbps to 155Mbps via agreements with Reliance and Bharti respectively. Bhutan Telecom’s promotional manager, Kencho Tshering, said: ‘With more operators laying fibre-optic cables towards north India, our bargaining position has improved unlike in the past.’ Tshering Norbu, manager of Druknet, Bhutan Telecom’s ISP provider, added: ‘We are benefiting from the competition between Bharti Airtel and Reliance Globalcom.’ The company hopes that the network upgrade will help boost subscribership in the country, which is estimated to have around 30,000 internet users at present.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, 08 January 2010 12:09:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 09 December 2009
Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) has officially begun to build a 1,401km backbone, the 'Mataram Kupang Cable System'. The Mataram-Kupang Cable System will be part of the Palapa Ring configuration. The Palapa Ring is a government initiated project which will roll out an optical fibre network consisting of 35,280km of submarine cable and 21,708km of inland cable.
The network will form seven rings and cover 33 provinces and 460 districts in eastern Indonesia. Telkom will start by building a sea link to connect Mataram and Kupang which will have a capacity of 300 Gbps. Telkom has also been rolling out fibre in other parts of the country as part of its Telkom Super Highway plan. Additionally, Telkom will launch a satellite next year, the Telkom 3.
Source: TelecomPaper
Wednesday, 09 December 2009 15:11:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Six new telecommunication operators have joined the ACE consortium which is rolling out a submarine cable system from France to South Africa.

The new operators are Etisalat Nigeria, Expresso Telecom Group (Mauritania, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria), Globalink (Sierra Leone), Mauritius Telecom, Office Congolais de Poste et Telecommunication (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Sierratel (Sierra Leone). In addition, Baharicom Development Company, supported by the Nepad's (New Partnership for Africa's Development) eAfrica Commission of the African Union, joined ACE as a major partner in October, to jointly build the ACE system, Broadband News reported. The ACE consortium currently comprises 25 parties: Baharicom Development Company, Benin Telecoms, Camtel, Cote d'Ivoire Telecom, Companhia Santomense de Telecomunicacoes, Etisalat Nigeria, Expresso Telecom Group, France Telecom, Gamtel, Getesa, Globalink, Maroc Telecom, Mauritano-Tunisienne des Telecommunications, Mauritius Telecom, Office Congolais de Poste et Telecommunication, Orange Bissau, Orange Cameroun, Orange Cote d'Ivoire, Orange Guinee, Orange Mali, Orange Niger, Orange Spain, Sierratel, Sonatel and Togo Telecom. The ACE submarine cable system, which will be more than 14,000 km long, will be ready for service in 2011. The system will offer a minimum capacity of 1.92 Tbps.

Source: TelecomPaper

Wednesday, 09 December 2009 14:59:57 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 08 December 2009

Installation of the first cable landing station of the East African Submarine System (EASSy) will commence this week in Mozambique, according to an announcement by the consortium’s largest investor The West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC). The twelve-telco strong consortium will roll out landing stations in nine African countries and provide high speed terrestrial connectivity to around a dozen landlocked nations. Cable laying is scheduled for completion in April 2010, with a ready-for-service date set for end-June.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 08 December 2009 10:28:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Iranmobin, reportedly the largest stakeholder in Iran’s Telecommunication Infrastructure Company (TIC, a unit of fixed line monopoly Telecommunication Company of Iran), has formed a 50/50 equity joint venture with C-Ring Telecom, a subsidiary of Russian long-distance operator Synterra, reports Islamic News ( The new venture has forged an agreement with Azerbaijan’s AzTelekom to work towards collaborating on the rollout of a new fibre-optic ring around the Caspian Sea to handle Europe-Asia voice and data transmission and improve internet service delivery in the Caspian region. Russian and Iranian state and company officials signed joint venture documents at a trade and economic cooperation summit in Tehran, whilst TIC also signed an agreement with another Russian carrier, Rostelecom, to share international transmission links.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, 08 December 2009 10:20:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 25 August 2009

The opening of a fiber-optic cable providing broadband to millions of people in Southern and Eastern Africa is part of an ambitious plan to expand Internet access and help spur the continent’s economy and its technology industry. The cable, built by Seacom, a consortium 75 percent controlled by African investors, is the first of about 10 new undersea connections expected to serve Africa before the middle of next year. The expansion will cost about $2.4 billion and will help connect Africa with Europe, Asia and parts of the Middle East at higher speeds and at lower cost.

Right now, Africa has only one submarine fiber-optic cable: the less efficient SAT-3 cable in Western Africa, owned primarily by Telkom, the South African telecom company, and last updated in 2002. Those with no access to that cable are forced to use expensive and slow satellite links.

Click here to see full article
Source: Kenya London News
Tuesday, 25 August 2009 09:16:10 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 22 July 2009

­The top mobile markets in East Africa and the Indian Ocean islands are amongst the most liberalised on the continent. The top three markets are Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and they all have about 10 million subscribers.

Each of these three markets has been a laboratory for competition. For example, Tanzania has issued seven mobile licences and Uganda has issued six. The number of operators has resulted in increased investment and marketing spend in the top three markets. And in all three countries, this competition has benefited African consumers as the cost of owning and using a mobile phone has fallen.

Click here to see full article

Source: Cellular News

Wednesday, 22 July 2009 13:26:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 26 June 2009

Despite the balancing of supply, demand, and price since the turmoil of the early 2000s, the market for trans-Atlantic bandwidth faces a looming supply hurdle. The trans-Atlantic submarine cable market was a stark example of the capacity glut in the early 2000s. Six new cables entered service between 2000 and 2003, greatly exceeding near-term requirements. The excess capacity and competition crushed prices, resulting in a wave of bankruptcies and financial restructuring.

The bandwidth glut now lies well in the past: rapidly growing international bandwidth requirements restored the balance of supply and demand, and cable operators have been adding capacity to their networks since 2004. Superficially, the trans-Atlantic market now appears sound: prices have stabilized, and demand grew 38% in 2008. However, clouds loom on the horizon.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 26 June 2009 10:58:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has invited Caribbean countries to use the country’s Simon Bolivar (Venesat-1) satellite, which entered operations in January and covers the island region, reports BNamericas. Chavez added that, in partnership with his close ally Cuba, it was his aim to implement satellite-based tele-medicine, tele-education, internet access, social services, and mobile telephony programmes covering the whole region. Science and technology minister Jesse Chacon emphasised that Venesat-1 will enable the provision of telephony, high speed internet and TV services in isolated areas in Venezuela and will also be instrumental in the implementation of tele-medicine and tele-education programmes. The minister said work had begun to connect all university branches in the country with their main campuses via the satellite, and there were plans to connect hospitals in Caracas with small medical centres in remote southern areas. Uruguay is also entitled to use Venesat-1 for research purposes.

Chacon also announced that the state is undertaking a project to deploy a free public Wi-Fi mesh network covering 50 square kilometres in the city of Barquisimeto, the Lara state capital. Hotspots would initially be used principally by students and for tracing vehicles. Chacon inaugurated one of 50 digital access centres planned for Lara this year.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009 15:23:07 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 12 June 2009

In a press release, France Telecom has announced that the ACE (Africa Coast to Europe) submarine cable system, which was initially planned to stretch from France to Gabon, will now be extended to South Africa connecting all countries along the West coast of Africa, from Morocco to South Africa. This new cable will provide broadband interconnection to the global telecommunications network to more than 25 countries in Africa and Western Europe.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 12 June 2009 13:52:14 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Madagascar’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, Orange Madagascar, has announced that it has completed its submarine cable project, LION, and has connected the cable at Tamatave in the Toamasina region. Funded by Orange Madagascar, France Telecom and Mauritius Telecom, the 1,800km broadband cable links with the existing SAT3/WASC and SAFE cable and has a capacity of 1.3Tbps. It also connects Madagascar with the islands of Reunion and Mauritius, and Orange maintains the new link will contribute to the development of regional cooperation in the Indian Ocean. However, despite the completion of the development, Orange has complained that the Malagasy government has still not completed the necessary legal framework to allow the ‘full exploitation of the cable’. It has called on the state to regulate so that it can begin to offer commercial services. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, incumbent Telecom Malagasy’s (Telma’s) monopoly on the fixed line sector was due to end on 30 June 2008, but regulator OMERT has yet to legislate to officially open the market.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 12 June 2009 13:50:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 03 June 2009

East African submarine fibre-optic cable system SEACOM has announced that it is entering the final stages of construction. According to the SEACOM website, the 15,000km, 1.28Tbps cable system is due to launch operations in early July this year. SEACOM CEO Brian Herlihy said, ‘SEACOM is in its final stretch! With the rapid progress of construction, we will soon be providing cheaper and faster bandwidth to our customers. The site acceptance testing was recently completed in Mombasa, and the terminal installation has also been completed in South Africa.’ has reported that construction of the physical cable system is completed and testing is due to commence in early June. Angus Hay, chief technology officer of Neotel - SEACOM’s South African ‘anchor tenant’, confirmed that the company is preparing end-to-end testing on the cable system. Hay said that this testing will involve the full system which runs from the Neotel point-of-presence in Midrand, S.A along the East African coast to India and Europe.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 03 June 2009 09:24:00 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 20 May 2009

According to The News, The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has ruled that internet service providers (ISPs) and xDSL operators will be allowed to purchase bandwidth from alternative backbone operators, rather than just Pakistan Telecommunications Company Ltd (PTCL). The decision follows complaints by ISPs that previously signed agreements were anti-competitive and monopolistic; service providers had called on the PTA to amend their DSL Interconnect Agreements with the incumbent, which when signed a few years ago restricted providers to procuring bandwidth from PTCL only. However, as alternative backbone providers have entered the market since deregulation, alternative operators claimed that the restrictions did not allow them to benefit from the competitive prices of other bandwidth providers.

Following a series of negotiations the regulator has revealed that its decision on 5 May 2009 will allow ISPs to buy internet bandwidth from third party operators, and they will also be allowed to link their fibre-optic cable to one PTCL exchange per city. The PTA has also ruled that PTCL will not be allowed to increase the fee for accessing its leased circuits used by DSL operators for inter-exchange bandwidth only for the next year. However, it is understood that the regulator has not yet finalised its judgement regarding xDSL wholesale and retail prices charged by the incumbent, although it is expected to resolve that issue within the next month.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009 09:05:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The MTN Group is reportedly investing in the USD700 million European-Indian Gateway (EIG) cable system. The fibre-optic submarine system will provide a central linking point for other cable systems already being deployed around Africa, such as the East African submarine cable system (Eassy) and the West African cable system (WACS). MTN Uganda chief executive officer, Noel Meier, said, ‘MTN’s investment in EIG is a step toward affordable and high quality global broadband connectivity to meet the varied and changing needs of our customers.’ The 15,000km cable will run from the UK to India via Portugal, Gibraltar, Monaco, Libya, Egypt, Djibouti, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. Alcatel-Lucent is expected to start laying the cable next month.

Source :TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009 09:00:46 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 15 May 2009

Former state-run Burkina Faso telco Onatel has signed an agreement with Benin Telecom to give the Burkinabe operator access to the SAT-3 international submarine cable via the landing point in Benin’s capital Cotonou, according to a Telecompaper report. Benin Telecom’s CEO Patrick Benon said that the fibre-optic link's current capacity stood at 9.7Gbps. Onatel is a 51% owned subsidiary of Morocco’s Maroc Telecom.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 15 May 2009 11:00:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 06 May 2009

The telecoms networks business, which sparked the first major bubble of the 2000s, is experiencing a resurgence. According to new data from TeleGeography’s Global Bandwidth Research Service, international bandwidth usage grew 64% in 2008.

The sustained rapid growth in bandwidth demand is spurring a wave of network expansion: more than 60% of US network operators surveyed by TeleGeography plan to light new fibres on their network in 2009. At the same time, the submarine cable industry is experiencing a flurry of new projects that is reminiscent of the early part of this decade: telcos plan to lay 16 new undersea cables in 2009, exceeding the number of cables laid in 2001, the peak of the submarine cable investment bubble.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 06 May 2009 09:06:46 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 15 December 2008

Main One Cable Company has revealed that it has secured licences from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Ghana’s National Communications Authority (NCA) allowing it to land its intercontinental undersea fibre-optic cable in the two countries. The company has already begun work on an undersea cable connecting Portugal and southern Africa. The first phase of the project spans 6,900 kilometres from Portugal to Ghana and Nigeria, while the second phase encompasses a 6,000 kilometre extension to Angola and South Africa. Negotiations with other countries along the route for further landing points are said to be ongoing.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 15 December 2008 11:46:05 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 02 May 2008

Under a new 15-year agreement, Telefonica International Wholesale Services (TIWS) will provide Ecuador's government with 200Mbps of internet capacity to be used for educational and social projects across the country, reports BNamericas. The country's telecommunications development fund Fodetel will be in charge of the execution of the projects, and telecoms agency Senatel said it expects the social programmes will benefit approximately a million people. Last year, TIWS linked Ecuador to its 10Gbps SAM-1 international submarine cable.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 02 May 2008 15:35:29 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 20 March 2008

Greek alternative fixed line and broadband operator ForthNet’s full year 2007 net losses widened to EUR32.5 million (USD60.0 million) from EUR16.7 million in 2006, on increased costs of local loop unbundling (LLU) and subscriber acquisition. Annual revenues grew 21.7% year-on-year to EUR119 million, as broadband subscribers doubled in twelve months to reach approximately 200,000 at the end of December (and subsequently reached 210,000 at the end of February 2008). LBITDA widened from EUR5 million in 2006 to EUR20 million last year, but the company expects to start posting gains in the second half of 2008 on improved operating performance and a new LLU subscriber acquisition cost accounting method. ForthNet’s CAPEX reached EUR64.3 million in 2007, up from EUR36 million the previous year. As of February 2008 it claimed to be Greece’s market leader for LLU customers with a 35% market share.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 20 March 2008 16:37:49 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 25 February 2008

The price of international bandwidth will plummet 80% when the Seacom undersea cable goes live on June 17 2009, more or less the same date as the TEAMS cable in Kenya. Construction has already started and Seacom president Brian Herlihy said the project was on track for a "dead-certain delivery date".

Its bandwidth will cost as little as R267 a month per 1MB, compared to between R3,500 and R11,000 to use Telkom's bandwidth on the existing Sat-3 cable, or a punishing R231,000 for satellite connectivity. "It's going to flood international bandwidth into the markets and drop the international component of prices dramatically," Herlihy said.

Click here to see full article

Source: Balancing Act.

Monday, 25 February 2008 16:28:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |