Displaying items by tag: Fiber

What happened to Google and Facebook’s subsea cable plans?

Written on Thursday, 10 September 2020 09:11

Following security concerns from US officials, it has been announced that Google and Facebook have scrapped plans for a giant subsea cable from Los Angeles to Hong Kong.

The Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN) was first announced in 2016, with backing from Google, Facebook and other companies including Pacific Light Data Communication and TE SubCom.

The PLCN is a high-capacity fiber-optic undersea cable running for approximately 12,800km under the Pacific Ocean between Hong Kong and Los Angeles. In 2016, Google said that the PLCN would have an estimated capacity of 120TB per second, making it the highest capacity trans-Pacific route.

“In other words, PLCN will provide enough capacity for Hong Kong to have 80m concurrent HD video conference calls with Los Angeles,” the company said at the time.

The 12,800 km long cable has already been laid, costing hundreds of millions of dollars. However it needs permission from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in order to operate.

Breakdown of plans

A US government committee, known as Team Telecom, raised concerns about Dr. Peng Telecom and Media Group’s involvement, citing its "relationship with Chinese intelligence and security services".

While Google and Facebook can be considered the most high-profile stakeholders, much of the cable’s fiber optics belong to Pacific Light Data Communication, which is owned by Dr. Peng Telecom.

In light of these concerns and the delays they were causing, Google sought permission from the FCC to activate only the self-owned portions of the subsea cable network in February 2020, effectively cutting Pacific Light Data Communication from the project.

In April of this year, Google were awarded temporary authority for construction and testing. The FCC said it would allow the company to operate the segment of cable between the US and Taiwan – but not Hong Kong – for six months, pending a final disposition of the license application.

However, as tensions between the US and China continue to grow, it became increasingly likely that US officials would reject the use of the cable on the grounds of national security.

What’s happening now?

While the special temporary authority wasn’t due to expire until the end of September, Bloomberg reported a few weeks ago that Google and Facebook have dumped their original plans for a subsea cable between the US and Hong Kong.

Instead, the companies submitted a revised proposal that incorporates the links to Taiwan and the Philippines, but crucially leaves out Hong Kong-based Pacific Light Data Communication.

A spokesperson for Google told the BBC: “We can confirm that the original application for the PLCN cable system has been withdrawn, and a revised application for the US-Taiwan and US-Philippines portions of the system has been submitted.

“We continue to work through established channels to obtain cable landing licenses for our undersea cables.”

While the fight to use the PLCN drags on, Google also announced in July of this year that it is building another subsea cable, named the ‘Grace Hopper’ cable, connecting the UK, US and Spain.

The cable marks Google’s first investment in a private subsea cable route to the UK and its first ever route to Spain. Today, 98pc of international internet traffic is carried around the world by subsea cables.

Published in Infrastructure

PT Portugal continues to expand its fiber optic network

Written on Thursday, 25 May 2017 06:23

PT's fiber optic network has reached Torres Vedras and Mira, as a result of its strategic goal of reaching 5.3 million businesses and homes by 2020. PT Portugal is the largest telecommunications service provider in Portugal. Since June 2, 2015, PT Portugal is a wholly owned subsidiary of Altice Group.

PT has announced the launch of its fiber optic service in Torres Vedras, in the Lisbon district, where close to 17 thousand houses will be served by the largest and most modern network in the country. Also residents of Mira, in the district of Coimbra, will have access to the best global telecommunications experience in Portugal, since there are 6 thousand homes with access to the PT network.

Through the fiber infrastructure, the residents of Torres Vedras and Mira will be able to have access to an ever more complete set of services at home: better image quality with HD content; unlimited number of televisions, no set-top box and internet with guaranteed bandwidth.

In companies, fiber enables access to innovative solutions, new business models with capacity for optimization of resources and expansion into new markets, as well as integrated telecommunications and information technology services, cloud computing, security and internet of things

The arrival of PT fiber optics to these two places provides access to high debit, high quality internet services with options for the consumer segment and for companies.

Published in Telecom Operators

Swedish telecoms company Telia Carrier announced that it has added a new, high capacity route that stretches from Zurich, Switzerland to Strasbourg, France via Basel, Switzerland, providing a shortened path and lower latency between Frankfurt, Germany and Zurich.

With the addition of a new PoP and metro fiber in Zurich, the new route provides current and potential customers with routing options that dramatically improve performance for traffic to and from Milan, Italy and Marseilles, France. The combination of a shorter, unique route with added security and diversity gives Telia Carrier’s customers the ability to stay one step ahead of their end-users’ rising expectations.

In Zurich, the global wholesale carrier is seeing heightened demand for high capacity fiber infrastructure and 100G+ services from over-the-top (OTT) content providers and large-scale web hosting companies to meet customer demand. With the addition of a new PoP and additional fiber in Zurich, Telia Carrier can offer a variety of services and routing options to local and international companies looking to connect throughout Europe.

The new route provides inherent reliability and hardened security on a unique right-of-way with the fiber buried deep underground. Telia Carrier is offering its full portfolio of services on this route.

“As demand for OTT and cloud-based services continues to rise, service providers will need agile connectivity options for delivering their services. The new network path between Frankfurt and Zurich provides the highest capacity route across a shorter distance available in the region and gives content providers the infrastructure needed to drastically improve latency with a secure connection,” said Christoph Lannert, Regional Sales Director for Telia Carrier. “By delivering a diverse array of options in Zurich and the surrounding region, Telia Carrier empowers its customers to put their customers’ needs at the center of their universe.”

Telia Carrier’s global fiber backbone has grown organically, without acquisitions, and was the first to be 100G-enabled in both Europe and North America. It is also the first network to successfully transmit 1 Tb/s in super channels on its US network. According to Dyn Research’s global backbone rankings, AS1299, Telia Carrier’s global IP backbone, is currently ranked top-two.

Published in Telecom Operators

On November 23, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, announced £1bn ($1.5bn) of funding to boost 5G and fiber connections in the country. Included in the Autumn Statement from Britain’s Treasury, the Chancellor said he wanted the ‘UK to be a world leader in 5G’. The UK will also be allocating £400m ($500m) for a Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund to accelerate the roll out of superfast internet.

Viavi Solutions, a global provider of network test, monitoring and assurance solutions, is working with network operators, equipment manufacturers and its ecosystems as part of major industry bodies to develop well-defined and harmonized standards for 5G. The company is also part of The White House Advanced Wireless Research Initiative in the US which fosters R&D and collaborates with the likes of AT&T, T-Mobile, Nokia and Samsung on 5G connectivity and beyond.

“The UK government is right to invest in 5G, even though the standards have yet to be agreed,” said Dr. Sameh Yamany, Chief Technology Officer at Viavi Solutions. “Truth is, 5G can’t come soon enough for mobile operators. They will need to provide connectivity for over 20 billion IoT devices - so everything from smart homes to self-driving cars - for the Internet of Things (IoT). It is estimated that IoT revenues will grow to $3 trillion by 2025 and $1.3 trillion will come from end-users. No wonder operators want a piece of that pie, yet IoT poses some unique challenges and mobile operators aren’t ready for a 5G future.”

Dr. Sameh added that IoT devices have “different and in many cases paradoxical needs. Connected cars require ultra-low latency to transmit information at lightning-fast speeds so other cars can avoid a hazard. Conversely, video-intensive applications that run 4K videos will have demanding bandwidth requirements. And operators will also need to provide connectivity for the latest smartphones too. It is a delicate balancing act.”

He explained that a concept called “Network Slicing” in 5G holds the key to this connectivity conundrum. Multiple cloud-based network functions can be automated and programmed to meet different use cases across multiple technologies, bands and protocols, he said. Yet, mobile operators don’t currently have the infrastructure to take advantage of this.

“Hopefully, government initiatives such as the UK’s Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund and the Advanced Wireless Research initiative in the US will inspire mobile operators – across the world – to prepare their networks better for 5G and beyond. That will put them in pole position to monetize a future always-connected smart 5G world.”

Published in Finance

Hong Kong Telecom fiber to boost HK’s data center industry

Written on Thursday, 24 November 2016 07:22

Hong Kong Telecom plans to construct a fiber optic link connecting Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate (TKOIE) and Chai Wan.

Dubbed, ‘Ultra Express Link’ the 3km submarine cable is expected to be completed in 2017. Hong Kong Telecom says it will foster the development of TKOIE to become Asia’s data center hub.

HKT Group Managing Director, Alex Arena, said: "The building of Ultra Express Link demonstrates once again not only our leading position in solid fiber infrastructure in Hong Kong, but also our dedication to build Hong Kong into a regional data center hub.

“The new cable, together with the existing extensive fiber infrastructure provided by HKT, will allow us to meet the rising demand for high speed and high capacity connectivity requirement from data center operators.”

Arena claimed that HKT was the only operator to provide full diversity with different options of cable route across Hong Kong. “We have full fiber coverage in all data centers in Hong Kong, particularly with diversity paths in all data centers in TKOIE,” he said.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Asian cable operators moving to FTTP

Written on Tuesday, 27 September 2016 12:59

Cable operators Cemerland Multimedia (MegaVision) in Indonesia and Converge ICT (CICT) in the Philippines are deploying GPON systems from Calix GPON to provide fiber to customer premises.

According to Calix, both operators are examples of a growing trend among cable operators globally who are making the leap to fiber to meet rising subscriber demand for ultra-high-speed broadband services and an unmatched subscriber experience.

“In the Philippines, Manila-based CICT has already seen an enhanced subscriber experience and more responsive subscriber care as a result of its network transformation to Calix-based GPON technology,” Calix said.

“Through the assistance of Calix channel partner Tel-trade Communication and Development, CICT is utilizing the Calix 813G GigaHub and E7-2 Modular Access System to ready the network for the rollout of new services, including television and high-speed Internet with speeds up to 100Mbps in several cities in northern Luzon, the largest and most populous island in the nation.”

It added: “CICT is also utilizing Calix Open Link Cable software to emulate the OSS interfaces that are used by DOCSIS products to seamlessly integrate GPON into their existing back-office operations.”

MegaVision, based in Indonesia's third largest city, Bandung is also moving away from DOCSIS HFC products to GPON using Calix 801G GigaPoint and E7-2 product, Calix says.

“Working with Calix Channel Partner Twoway Communications to implement this network modernization project, MegaVision is well underway with Phase 1 of this project — a doubling of broadband speeds available in their subscriber service packages,” Calix said.

According to Andy Lockhart, senior vice president of international sales at Calix, both these projects highlight the need for cable operators to transform their networks to fiber to meet the needs of their device-enabled subscribers.

"Each of these operators knew fiber was the path to get them to delivering an unmatched subscriber experience,” he said. “We are seeing more and more cable operators make the move to fiber, both in Southeast Asia and around the globe. Trusted local Calix Channel Partners Twoway and Tel-trade have been instrumental to supporting each of these companies through their respective transformation efforts.”