Here's a quick roundup of some news from around the world and from the cloud.
Sparkle, the international arm of Italy's TIM Global, has picked up some business in central Europe. They have partnered with the Czech ISP Prozeta, and will be providing IP transit services to CESNET. CESNET is the association of Universities and Academy of Sciences in the Czech Republic, and the purchase is funded by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. Sparkle has been very visible lately around the globe.
Down in southern Africa, Liquid Telecom has completed the acquisition of Neotel from Tata Communications, Nexus Connexion, and other partners for some R6.55B (~$490M). The deal greatly expands Liquid's presence across South Africa, merging together its pan-African fiber footprint with a deep competitive presence in the region's biggest market. Neotel's owners had previously sought to sell the company to Vodacom, but were blocked by regulators.
In the Pacific ocean, Southern Cross is kicking off the survey of its NEXT buildout plans with the help of EGS. The 8-month survey will study the sea floor across 12,500km between Los Angeles and Clovelly, which lies on the Australian coast near Sydney, traversing some of the deepest spots in the ocean. The project will give Southern Cross a third leg and is expected to be ready sometime in 2019. Theoretical capacity on the new system is expected to be 60Tbps, three times as much as the current cable system has between California and Australia.
And Snapchat has revealed a gigantic cloud computing deal with Amazon's AWS. They will be using even more of Amazon's platform to build in redundancy for the Snapchat platform, planning to spend another $1B over the next five years and bring their yearly spend over $450M - more than they had in revenue last year. For those like me who buy from Amazon AWS in microscopic nibbles, that's a heck of a lot of cloud services. Snapchat also suggested it might eventually roll its own infrastructure.