Ascenty expands its Latin American presence with second data centre in Chile

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Industry Spotlight: CT Americas’ Luis Fiallo on Cloud, Edge, and MANRS

As the North and South American subsidiary of China Telecom, China Telecom Americas (CTA) has a tougher path to follow than most international forays into the Americas.  The rise of China’s economy means companies need help crossing the border, because there are many more language and cultural issues at play than between the U.S. and Europe, for example. With us today to talk about the company’s approach to the western hemisphere is Luis Fiallo, Vice President for China Telecom Americas. … [visit site to read more]

Malaysian telcos finally agree to take stakes in DNB

In recent years, Malaysia’s journey towards 5G has been bottlenecked due to the highly unorthodox approach taken by the government, eschewing the conventional wisdom of a spectrum auction and instead launching a nationwide 5G wholesaler, DNB. 
Even before DNB’s official launch in early 2021, the operators had been lambasting the government for its decision, saying they could roll out 5G themselves far more effectively and efficiently, as well as raising issues of DBN’s high pricing and lack of transparency…

In recent years, Malaysia’s journey towards 5G has been bottlenecked due to the highly unorthodox approach taken by the government, eschewing the conventional wisdom of a spectrum auction and instead launching a nationwide 5G wholesaler, DNB. 

Even before DNB’s official launch in early 2021, the operators had been lambasting the government for its decision, saying they could roll out 5G themselves far more effectively and efficiently, as well as raising issues of DBN’s high pricing and lack of transparency. The government, on the other hand, countered that DBN would eliminate the problem of overbuild and offer Malaysian customers around the country a greater choice of mobile service provides. 

By early 2022, the Malaysian telcos were still refusing to engage with DNB, leading the government to propose that the operators take a combined 70% stake in DNB to assuage their doubts. While this plan was initially met with relative optimism from the telcos, they continued to negotiate with the government around potential ownership structures.

Ultimately, the government lost patience earlier this summer, telling the telcos that they had an August deadline to take a stake in DNB or else miss out on access to 5G spectrum entirely. The government also said that it would offer foreign operators a chance to enter the market by taking a stake in DBN if the domestic players refused to do so. 

Now, it seems that this threat of being cut off from 5G and replaced by foreign operators has been effective, with all of the country’s major operators having agreed take a stake in the DNB. Details relating to the wholesaler’s 5G network access, however, are still being ironed out.

Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz, speaking to Malaysian media, said Maxis and U Mobile were the last of the operators to confirm they would take a stake, with Celcom, DiGi, YTL, and Telekom Malaysia having already quietly agreed to do so in the past couple of months.

« All the key terms were finalised last Monday (Aug 8). One or two came very, very last minute and only because they realised if I don’t come in, my competition is there, » Tengku Zafrul told The Straits Times, noting interest from companies in India, Hong Kong, and Singapore. 

“There are many who have registered strong interest […] because to them there is no more capex. And then they say we have got the technology and we know how to play the game,” he added.

For now, it is unclear on the size of stakes agreed by each operator; the government had previously said that no operator could own a stake greater than 20% in DNB, or 25% in the case of mergers between two operators. The government will hold the remaining 30% stake.

But while this represents a major milestone on the road to Malaysian 5G, the process could still falter, with questions around DBN’s network quality and cost still remaining for the operators.

In recent months, Tengku Zafrul has been adamant that the government would not budge from its end-of-August deadline for the operators to sign 5G agreements with DNB, but even he admits that negotiations are likely to continue beyond the deadline due to the complexity of the matter.

In fact, Maxis and U Mobile are reportedly still hopeful that the government will agree to a dual national 5G model, whereby they build and operate a second wholesale 5G network.

However, with foreign operators reportedly lining up to take a stake in DNB and the country’s 5G development falling further and further behind their regional rivals, the government may be unwilling to talk for much longer. 

The government has said in the past that 5G in Malaysia will generate around 750,000 jobs and $145 billion in economic value for the country by 2030.

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Internet link proposed for Morocco, Mauritania and Western Sahara

Citing sources with knowledge of the matter, a number of news outlets have been reporting that a cable project may soon be formally announced that will connect Morocco with Mauritania through Western Sahara.

Such an initiative could also reinforce the African Coast to Europe (ACE) cable to which Mauritania was connected in 2011 and on which it mainly relies for high-speed internet services.

The Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable spans 17,000 kilometres along the west coast of Africa, connecting three European countries – France, Portugal and the Spanish-owned Canary Islands – and 16 African countries including Mauritania.

According to the Ecsaharaui website, Moov Mauritel, Mauritania’s leading operator, is especially interested in the, as yet unnamed, cable project.

If it goes ahead the cable would be over 1,000 kilometres long, stretching from Morocco’s southern Saharan regions to Mauritania while crossing the Guerguarat border post and boosting internet speeds significantly.

But will the project go ahead? A rather tricky issue is the argument that such a cable would imply recognition by Mauritania of Moroccan sovereignty in Western Sahara, one reason that the project has been rejected by previous Mauritanian presidents. If it is officially affirmed, however, it seems that current president, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, would be changing that position.

Another issue is Algeria, which may be unhappy with a project that undermines its own position. It supports the Polisario Front, the group that claims independence in the southern Moroccan provinces.

Algeria made clear its dissatisfaction when the Spanish government officially endorsed Morocco’s Autonomy Plan – a proposal to resolve the Sahara conflict between Morocco and the Polisario Front – as the most serious and credible basis to end the dispute over Western Sahara.

In the event, we still seem to be awaiting a formal acknowledgment of the scheme, though there will then  presumably be the practical issues of funding and project tendering to deal with.

MORE ARTICLES YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN…

South Africa dampens Rain, Telkom merger

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Globe sells towers for $1.2 billion

Globe Telecom gained board approval to sell over 7,000 mobile towers, in deals expected to reap PHP71 billion (US$1.2 billion) to finance network expansion and sustain industry consistency and reliability scores.

In a statement, the operator detailed two 15-year sale and leaseback agreements were signed for portfolios totalling of 5,709 telecom towers and related passive infrastructure. Both deals are expected to close in Q3 this year. 

The first contains 2,180 telecom towers in Luzon which will be acquired by MIESCOR Infrastructure Development Corporation (MIDC) for PHP26 billion, the pre-tax gain from this transaction to be PHP10.6 billion. Globe also commissioned the company to construct 750 additional build-to-suit towers over the next four years on which the operator will be the anchor tenant.

The second deals consist of 3,529 towers which will be sold to Frontier Tower Associates Philippines for PHP45 billion. Globe estimated the pre-tax transaction gain form this deal will be PHP15 billion.

The majority of the towers to be sold are located in Luzon (66%) with the rest in Mindanao (19%) and Visayas (15%). The majority (79%) of the assets be to sold are ground-based and with the rest being rooftop towers.

Another deal is currently in “advanced discussion” with an undisclosed tower company for the sale and lease of 1,350 towers located in Visayas and Mindano. This deal is expected to close in Q4.

“We have always been looking for ways to monetise our tower assets and this record-breaking initiative marks our continued commitment to optimise our capital raising efforts and further strengthen the balance sheet as we seek to capitalise on opportunities in the telecommunications sector and complementary services,” said Globe CFO Rizza Maniego-Eala.

“These expanded long-term partnerships with the tower companies show Globe’s commitment to help improve the Philippines’ internet condition, as well as our desire to have as many Filipinos enjoy the benefits of having access to reliable internet. We also believe that through these monetisation efforts, Globe will be able to further improve overall operational efficiency, allowing us to serve our customers better,” added Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu.

Financial results

In its H1 results, Globe revealed capex increased year-on-year by 17% to PHP50.5 billion due to “aggressive” network rollouts to improve customer experiences.  

The company’s service revenue hit PHP78/9 billion a 4% increase which was fuelled by the contribution of data-related products and services across mobile and corporate data. 

Mobile data revenue grew 8% to PHP41.8 billion from PHP38.6 billion last year. Mobile data consumption grew to 2,177 petabytes from 1,761 petabytes last year. EBITDA stood at PHP40.5 billion which is up 8% from the same period last year.

MORE ARTICLES YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN…

Securing the Enterprise from Voice Network Attacks

Securing the Enterprise from Voice Network Attacks

This Industry Viewpoint was authored by Roger Northrop, Chief Technology Officer, Mutare

More phone calls are being transmitted by digital protocols today, rather than over physical analog lines, due to the prevalence of online VOIP communications and session initiation protocols (SIPs). Unfortunately, this evolution in telephony has provided hackers with new pathways to infiltrate organizations through their voice networks. … [visit site to read more]

Storm Ruby rips through Sunford City in digital twin drama

The National Digital Twin programme, part of Centre for Digital Built Britain, wanted to create an interactive demonstrator tool to help show how connected digital twins can make telecoms, water and energy infrastructure more resilient to flooding due to climate change. Part of the National Digital Twin’s (NDTp) Climate Resilience Demonstrator (CReDo) project, the demonstrator was needed as a key communication tool to help show that more resilience is needed within existing utility systems and that collaboration and data sharing is the key to success. Aimed at non-technical and diverse audiences, including the public, industry and government…

The National Digital Twin programme, part of Centre for Digital Built Britain, wanted to create an interactive demonstrator tool to help show how connected digital twins can make telecoms, water and energy infrastructure more resilient to flooding due to climate change.

Part of the National Digital Twin’s (NDTp) Climate Resilience Demonstrator (CReDo) project, the demonstrator was needed as a key communication tool to help show that more resilience is needed within existing utility systems and that collaboration and data sharing is the key to success.

Aimed at non-technical and diverse audiences, including the public, industry and government, the demonstrator was designed for launch at COP26 in November 2021 and could not contain real data or refer to real world locations for security/confidentiality reasons. It needed to include energy, water and telecoms networks and focus on showing the impact of extreme weather, such as flooding.

“Collaboration through connected digital twins is key to tackling climate change but digital twins are complex to explain, particularly to non-technical audiences. We needed something visual to show during the early stages what CReDo is all about and what we are trying to achieve,” said Sarah Hayes, head of NDTp’s CReDo project. “When you’re bringing together multiple teams with different skill sets, it can be challenging to communicate effectively. The objective was to not only help connect and engage with external stakeholders but also internal teams, to help crystallise the vision and concept of what we are producing.”

The NDTp selected Esri UK to develop an interactive demonstrator tool, following an industry-wide tender, deciding that its capabilities in digital twins, visualisations and infrastructure were the best fit. “Creating a complex, fictitious city from scratch had never been done before, as far as we knew but we could see Esri UK had a wealth of experience in this area and were confident it could deliver in time for COP26,” commented Hayes.

By using location as a foundation for linking disparate digital twins, Esri UK developed the tool using its GIS software. Featuring a fictional city called Sunford City that experiences a series of severe storms and floods, the tool was designed to allow users to test different scenarios and make decisions to better protect Sunford, clearly showing the benefits of using connected instead of isolated digital twins.

Flooding models were used to simulate how a flood would impact on Sunford City in various scenarios. Creating fabricated asset data was essential and a major part of the project’s challenge. Any interactive map couldn’t show where real assets were due to obvious sensitivities around future flooding scenarios. “What Esri UK created in eight weeks was incredibly impressive, particularly as it was developed from scratch, but our collaborative and iterative approach gave us what we were looking for,” continued Hayes.

A short feature film was also created to help show the importance of projects like CReDo to adaptation and resilience, called Tomorrow Today, directed by BAFTA winning director Colin O’Toole. Telling the story of Arthur and his grandson Jack facing the unprecedented Storm Ruby, the film shows its potential to knock out multiple utility services and threaten lives.

Launched at the United Nations Climate Conference, COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021, the demonstrator tool has been used extensively by multiple partners and has played an invaluable communication role since, as Hayes explained: “The interactive map and images have been critical in helping explain what we are trying to do and together with the short film, helped gain support for the continuation of the CReDo project with government stakeholders and industry.”

“Images taken from the demonstrator have been essential to show what kind of interventions a digital twin might consider in the future and how you would assess the impact of the interventions. The images help make the point about resilience from a system point of view, rather than a sector point of view. We needed pictures like this to get the point across quickly and easily.”

Telling the CReDo story externally has been made easier using the tool, engaging with both the information management and utility communities. Used during the discovery phase of CReDo, the tool also helped keep the multi-disciplinary team united and focused on the purpose of the project. The second phase of CReDo is now continuing under Connected Places Catapult (CPC), moving from the National Digital Twin programme at CDBB.

“Talking about something complex like a digital twin, you need a visualisation to explain the concept. The Sunford City application helped demonstrate how connecting datasets and digital twins across organisations and sectors is vital to securing future infrastructure resilience,” concluded Hayes.

The interactive demonstrator tool can be tried here. You can meet ESRI at Connected Britain this September – book your tickets at www.totaltele.com/connectedbritain  

US Broadband News: GRID Broadband Act advances affordable broadband to underserved urban, rural, and tribal communities

Total Telecom are keeping track of the latest news from the USA as billions of dollars pour into developing internet access for all. If you are interested in a more in-depth look at how progress is being made, check out our new Connected America event.
12 August 2022
Cantwell, Capito Propose Broadband Buildout Along America’s Electricity Grid – Press Release
 
11 August 2022
Village of Sherburne Cuts Fiber Deployment Time from Four Years to End of this Year – OPTICS
 
The Future Of Broadband Is In The States’ Hands – Forbes 
10 August 2022
New York’s MTA announces wireless connectivity plan for entire subway – telecompaper
9 August 2022
America’s Two Biggest Cable Broadband Monopolies Failed To Add Any New Customers Last Quarter …

Total Telecom are keeping track of the latest news from the USA as billions of dollars pour into developing internet access for all. If you are interested in a more in-depth look at how progress is being made, check out our new Connected America event.

12 August 2022

11 August 2022

10 August 2022
New York’s MTA announces wireless connectivity plan for entire subway – telecompaper

9 August 2022
America’s Two Biggest Cable Broadband Monopolies Failed To Add Any New Customers Last Quarter – techdirt

States are Making Their Own Broadband Maps to Challenge the FCC’s Data – BroadbandBreakfast 

8 August 2022
$30M Fiber-optic Broadband Infrastructure Project Coming to Holland, MI – Inside Towers

7 August 2022
Affordable Connectivity Program’ for broadband internet services offered to ND households – KFYR

4 August 2022
Congress Proposes Broadband Plan 2.0 – Multichannel News

Brightspeed Announces Initial Fiber Build Markets for Tennessee – PRNewswire 

3 August 2022
Quantum Fiber launches multi-gig service, delivering symmetric 8 gigabit internet speeds in select cities – PR Newswire

2 August 2022
20 Providers Offering $30-a-Month High-Speed Internet Access – AARP

27 July 2022
The Fiber Broadband Association Recognizes More All Fiber Networks Across North America – Press Release

26 July 2022
La. state leaders announce major investment in broadband internet expansion, digital literacy program – WAFB9

22 July 2022
Rural US wireless carriers ask for more 5G subsidies – LightReading

19 July 2022
State of Indiana and AT&T Collaborate on Plan to Deliver Fiber-Powered Broadband to Portions of Nine Indiana Counties – Press Release / Cision

18 July 2022
Home Telecom supplies 1,400 homes with better internet with $2M grant – Live 5 NewsWire

United Communications secures $130M credit facility to support broadband grants – Williamson HomePage 

16 July 2022
How Washington state could use federal infrastructure money to close the digital divide – Geek Wire

Peninsula Fiber Network Plans To Improve Internet Service – Radio results Network

FCC Chair Rosenworcel Proposes 4X Increase in Minimum Broadband Speeds – tvtech

14 July 2022
Despite External Challenges – RAN Still Expected to Surpass $40b by 2026 – PR Newswire

13 July 2022
AT&T claims first with 20 Gbps symmetric speeds in production network – Telecompaper

13 July 2022
Shentel Awarded Grant to Bring its Glo Fiber High Speed Network to Frederick County, Maryland – PR Newswire

13 July 2022
Arelion expands its long-haul network in Atlanta – Fierce Telecom

13 July 2022
All 50 States on Board for BEAD, Digital Equality Broadband Funding Programs – Telecompetitor

13 July 2022
Mesa, Arizona selects 4 fiber providers inlcuding SiFi Networks and Google Fiber – Fierce Telecom

13 July 2022
FCC Awards More Than $266M in ECF Program – Telecompetitor

13 July 2022
Starry adds record subs in Q2 as total nears 81,000 – LightReading

12 July 2022

12 July 2022

12 July 2022

11 July 2022

11 July 2022

1 July 2022
FCC Awards Almost $159m in ECF Funding – Telecompetitor

30 June 2022
Construction Begins at Quantum Loophole’s Frederick Data Center Campus – Inside Towers 

29 June 2022
Sen. Marklein: The battle for better broadband continues – WisPolitics

28 June 2022
Verizon delivers faster connections to 64 Native American reservations in 13 states – LightReading 

27 June 2022
Clearwave Fiber Begins Buildout of Fiber Internet in Lansing, KS – PR Newswire 

24 June 2022
Broadband internet provider Conterra expanding, investing nearly $10M now, $12M later in Union County – WRAL TechWire 

Connectbase welcomes NYC’s Skywire Networks to Connected World platform – telecompaper 

22 June 2022
Highline Commences Next Phase of Fiber Internet Expansion in Lumberton, Texas – Telecompetitor 

20 June 2022
FPB wins $8 million in grants to fund broadband for unserved – The State Journal (Kentucky)

State of New York unveils broadband map – Inside Towers

18 June 2022
Hargray Fiber expands fiber Internet to Hinesville, GA – TelecomLead.com

17 June 2022
Biden aims to train more broadband workers to fend off labor crunch – Fierce Telecom

Washington County, Pa., Approves $3.2M for Internet Expansion – Government Technology

16 June 2022
Shentel Expanding its Glo Fiber High-Speed Network to Delaware – KLTV

Texas Broadband Plan Could Connect 2.8M Unserved Households – Government Technology

13 June 2022
Ohio State hosts first meeting for statewide broadband and 5G partnership – Ohio State News

11 June 2022
West Virginia Working To Avoid Past Broadband Mistakes – The Intelligencer

Connected America brings together the people and companies redefining the future of US connectivity and unites the leading stakeholders from the entire value chain. Join us in Dallas, 28-29 March 2023

Global data centre provider launches charging facilities – enabling partners to deploy and operate EVs at scale.

EdgeConneX® announces the launch of Voltera. Rising from the EdgeConnex history of space and power innovations, Voltera builds, owns, and operates charging facilities that enable electric vehicle (EV) deployment and operation at scale. Voltera has equity backing from EQT Infrastructure, which plans to invest several billion to address the challenges around fleet EV charging that include delivering scalable power in strategic locations…

EdgeConneX® announces the launch of Voltera. Rising from the EdgeConnex history of space and power innovations, Voltera builds, owns, and operates charging facilities that enable electric vehicle (EV) deployment and operation at scale. Voltera has equity backing from EQT Infrastructure, which plans to invest several billion to address the challenges around fleet EV charging that include delivering scalable power in strategic locations. Voltera has a team with deep experience deploying charging infrastructure, and is uniquely positioned to help solve EV infrastructure challenges as the world prepares for a more sustainable future.

“As a pioneer in the digital infrastructure industry, EdgeConneX has solved many of the same challenges EV fleet operators and automakers face – acquiring, permitting, powering and operating sites in strategic locations, while ensuring customers’ speed to market,” says EdgeConneX CEO Randy Brouckman. “It’s a highly logical and practical application of our long-developed data center innovations to solve another very real and significant challenge. Voltera will advance the transportation industry like EdgeConneX did digital infrastructure. It’s really all a part of our commitment to sustainable innovation.”

Voltera’s customers are companies that have a pressing need to power EVs at scale. That includes fleet operators looking to electrify without disrupting operations or investing significant time and upfront capital to install EV charging infrastructure, as well as automakers looking to deploy charging infrastructure to support EV sales. Siting, acquiring, powering, building, and operating strategically located, fit-for-purpose charging facilities, Voltera is the full-service partner these companies rely on to support EV deployment and operations at scale.

“Fleet operators, automakers, and consumers alike are adopting electric vehicles at a rapidly accelerating pace. Lagging far behind, though, is the power infrastructure needed to support EVs at scale,” says Voltera CEO Matt Horton. “We have to bridge that gap if we’re going to make zero-emission transportation a reality. That’s what Voltera is doing, and it’s why I’m so excited to be part of this team.”

EQT Infrastructure has made several investments in clean transportation and was looking for opportunities to help develop the EV charging infrastructure necessary to support vehicle electrification. “Through our work with EdgeConneX, we understand that the capabilities needed to deliver critical infrastructure for transport electrification at scale are similar to the capabilities EdgeConneX developed as a leading data center provider,” says EQT Partner Jan Vesely. “In Voltera, EQT sees an opportunity to partner with a company that can drive positive change, helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions by developing EV infrastructure, and we are excited to back their expansive ambitions.”