More Int’l Bytes: Ciena, Verizon, Seaborn, Hutchison

January 20th, 2015 by · Leave a Comment

With PTC going on out in Hawaii this week, there's lots of news under the waves plus some more European M&A action to consider:

Ciena took the opportunity to announce several Transpacific upgrade contracts. Their WaveLogic coherent optical gear has been selected to upgrade the Trans Pacific Express cable network to 100G, more than tripling the capacity originally designed into the system back in 2008. And the same solution will be further upgrading the Japan-US cable network, implementing 8D-2QAM modulation for a 60% boost on the longest segment and 200G 16QAM modulation on the shorter segments for a doubling of capacity there.

Verizon has joined the 100G party in the Asia-Pacific theatre. They've deployed the technology out in Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong, adding 11,681 route miles of 100G coverage to their global network. Verizon was one of the first to deploy 100G terrestrially, so it's interesting it took them this long to roll it out to the Far East. But then, for Verizon the path ahead is all wireless these days. Verizon's 100G upgrade uses Ciena and Fujitsu gear.

Seaborn Networks got a double shot of good news over the past few days. On Friday they picked up some new funding for their $500M cable between the Jersey shore and Sao Paolo, Seabras-1. Partners Group has signed on for an equity stake, while Natixis is arranging $270M in senior secured project debt financing. And on the customer front, Tata Communications has announced an investment in a significant chunck of capacity on Seabras-1, joining Microsoft among others as the project's anchor tenants as it looks for a bigger foothold in South America. We're still looking at 7 quarters though until the planned Q4/2016 ready-for-service date for Seaborn's cable, but it's definitely getting closer.

And in the ongoing UK consolidation saga, Telefonica's O2 apparently has a new suitor. Hutchison Whampoa, which owns the #4 player in the market, is said to be looking at acquiring O2 and its #2 market share for a big boost into the top UK slot. With BT working on a plan to re-enter the mobile business by buying EE, having its former subsidiary O2 simultaneously take the top spot in the country's mobile pecking order away from them would be rather ironic. On the other hand, it might give BT some ammunition when it comes to winning over regulators if they weren't acquiring their way into the #1 slot.

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Categories: Mergers and Acquisitions · Telecom Equipment · Undersea cables · Wireless

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