Monday, January 1, 2007

Pacific Cables Damaged in Undersea Earthquake

An earthquake off the southern tip of Taiwan damaged several undersea cable networks, disrupting telecom and Internet traffic across Asia.

Cables damaged by the earthquake and its aftershocks included:

  • the SMW3 cable, S1.8 (Fangshan - BU4) and S1.7 (BU3 - BU4)

  • the China-US cable, including segment W1 (Shantou - ChongMing) & segment S1 (Shantou - Okinawa/SLO), and segment W2 (spur to Fangshan).

  • the APCN cable, system 1 segment B17 (Hong Kong branch)

  • the APCN2 cable, system 2 Segment B5 (Taiwan Branch), segment 7 (Tanshui - Shantou) & segment 3 (Hong Kong - ChongMing)

  • the FLAG FEA cable, including sub-system 8 (Hong Kong - Shanghai - Korea)

  • the RNAL cable, including the Hong Kong - Busan cable, and the Hong Kong - Toucheng segment.

On January 2, Hong Kong's Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) said major ISPs had recovered about 80% of their international connection capacity. Some real-time applications such as IP telephony may continue to be adversely affected by excessive response times. Major repairs are now expected to be completed in late January or February.

NTT's Photonic Crystals Delay Light

Researchers at NTT have developed a "photonic crystal" capable of trapping light for over one nanosecond within a wavelength-sized micro-cavity. The technique makes it possible to reduce the speed of light down to one 50 thousandth of that in air. The development was announced in the December 22 edition of "Nature Photonics" magazine.

NTT said the advancement opens up various possibilities for photonics such as a large-scale photonic information processing chip with extremely low power consumption power, or perhaps an optical quantum information processor operating with single photons.

BT Reaches Ten Million Broadband User Milestone

BT has reached the ten million broadband user milestone, smashing its initial target of five million connections by the end of 2006. That target was set in April 2002 when there were fewer than 150,000 DSL connections.

The ten million wholesale connections are shared between BT Wholesale and Openreach. BT Wholesale supplies services to more than 8.7 million customers (via service providers including BT Retail) whilst Openreach supplies more than 1.3 million lines to customers via local loop unbundlers.

Ben Verwaayen, Chief Executive of BT Group, said: "2007 is beginning with broadband firmly established at the heart of the UK economy, helping businesses to compete and enriching people's lives. The UK now has over 200 service providers making it the most competitive broadband market in the world. That means fantastic choice and value for consumers, and a constant stream of new and innovative applications."

Intellon Cites Growth in HomePlug Deployments

Twelve service providers in Europe and Asia are now using Intellon's HomePlug ICs for in-home IPTV distribution. These include: 1&1, ChungHwa Telecom, Club Internet, France Telecom, Free, Hanaro Telecom, neuf cegetel, PCCW, Simmin, Tele2, Telecom Italia France and TPSA.

HomePlug technology uses the electrical wiring in customers' homes as an instant Ethernet network.

Intellon said its 85 Mbps HomePlug 1.0 with Turbo chipset has been very successful for service providers that need a customer-installable home backbone for distributing standard definition video. The company expects to see its IPTV business grow substantially during 2007, as additional operators adopt its Turbo solution for standard definition IPTV applications and new and existing customers begin to deploy its 200 Mbps HomePlug AV-based IC for high definition IPTV applications.

Alcatel-Lucent Closes Acquisition of Nortel's UMTS Radio Access Business

Alcatel-Lucent completed its acquisition of Nortel's UMTS radio access business on December 31 with a cash payment of US$320 million less significant deductions.

With this acquisition, Alcatel-Lucent said one in four UMTS operators - about 40 customers around the world - now use its UMTS solutions.
  • The deal, which was first announced on 01-Sept-2006, encompassed Nortel's UMTS access product portfolio made up of the Radio Network Controller and Node B products and OAM solutions, related services and associated assets. The deal added an additional fourteen UMTS customers to the Alcatel customer list. Alcatel said the acquisition would also significantly strengthened its research and development capabilities, especially in HSxPA and 3G Long-Term Evolution (3G LTE), fully leveraging Alcatel's expertise in multi-standard radio solutions and Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology.