(Reuters) - U.S. businesses' burgeoning demand for data and video is fueling a revival in fiber optic services, an industry once decimated by overbuilding during the dotcom era.
The recovery is leading to a number of acquisitions as the largest telecom companies duke it out with cable operators and telecom providers such as Level 3 Communications Inc to serve corporate customers.
(Reuters) - Google Inc is considering an investment in a new cable across the Pacific Ocean, the Wall Street Journal reported citing people familiar with the matter.
The move comes as technology companies send an increasing amount of traffic across private networks, the report said. (on.wsj.com/1isOMAv)
Google took a stake in a similar $300 million cable in 2010, according to the report. The Internet search company would use the new subsea cable to connect data centers in Oregon and Japan, the report said.
Level 3 Communications Inc will buy internet services provider tw telecom Inc for more than $5.6 billion in cash and stock to expand its commercial fiber network in the United States.
The $40.86 per-share deal represents a premium of 12 percent to tw telecom's Friday closing price on the Nasdaq. The total deal value is based on outstanding shares as of April 30.
Tw telecom shares, which have not traded over $40 since 2001, reached an intraday high of $40.51.
Service providers are looking to compete more effectively today, while preparing their networks to support more dynamic, on-demand and customized service options in the coming years. With ubiquitous fiber and Carrier Ethernet standardization, a key area of differentiation for carriers is service deployment speed and service-level agreements (SLAs).
New service automation software is emerging that helps carriers evolve their network and OSS toward an on-demand service delivery capability that provides flexibility for easy service upgrades or changes as a customer grows.
UK fixed-line incumbent BT has unveiled plans to spend another £50 million ($82.6 million) on extending fiber broadband services to homes and businesses over the next three years.
In a statement, the operator said the extra investment would benefit more than 30 cities in the UK and more than 400,000 additional premises.
It will mainly focus on equipping city cabinets that were not part of BT’s (London, UK) original plans, deploying fiber to cabinets that serve apartment blocks and laying additional fiber to new build sites in cities.
Sweden’s TeliaSonera has announced several acquisitions aimed at boosting its presence in the country’s high-speed broadband market.
In a statement, the operator said it had spent a total of SEK473 million ($72 million) on controlling stakes in fiber players Zitius, Quadracom Networks and Riksnet.
New Zealand’s government has sided with telecoms infrastructure player Chorus in its assessment of the impact that regulated price cuts would have on planned investment in a nationwide broadband network.
According to a government report prepared by Ernst & Young, price cuts mandated by New Zealand’s telecoms regulator for access to copper-line networks would leave Chorus (Auckland) with a funding shortfall of about NZD1 billion ($825 million) assuming it did not implement any cost-saving measures.
Indian operators Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm have announced a network-sharing plan aimed at avoiding “duplication of infrastructure” and lowering costs.
The companies said they would share inter- and intra-city fiber-optic networks, submarine cable networks, towers, internet broadband services and other technologies that might emerge in future.
Besides avoiding duplication and freeing up capital for other projects, the operators said that comprehensive network sharing would help to “preserve the environment”.
Set to launch a ‘gigabit’ fiber-based service in Austin, Texas this week, US telecoms giant AT&T is reportedly considering plans to extend the deployment of super-fast broadband services to other cities in the country.
According to a report from the UK’s Financial Times newspaper, Randall Stephenson, the operator’s chief executive, told attendees at an investor conference in New York that he saw “lots of other opportunities around the country … for Austin-type projects”.
UK operator BT has announced that Liv Garfield, the chief executive of its Openreach division, will step down in Spring 2014 to join water company Severn Trent.
Garfield has been responsible for overseeing a £2.5 billion ($4 billion) commercial rollout of fiber broadband services by Openreach, BT’s (London, UK) local access network business.
BT also says she played a “pivotal role” in developing the business case for that fiber deployment in her previous role as Group Strategy Director.