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World Beat (July 01, 2000)

USB installs wireless system in Hong KongUnique Broadband Systems, Inc. of Toronto has announced the installation of a wireless video system prototype for Hong Kong Cable Television Ltd.The system pro...

July 1, 2000  

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USB installs wireless system in Hong Kong

Unique Broadband Systems, Inc. of Toronto has announced the installation of a wireless video system prototype for Hong Kong Cable Television Ltd.

The system prototype is now operational and is being tested in field trials by Hong Kong Cable — the only wireless distributor and fiber optic system provider in the territory.

UBS is providing a complete 18 GHz point-to-multipoint video distribution system with transmitters, repeaters, transmit antennas, LNBs and feedhorns. When in full operation, the UBS equipment will enable the company to operate 14 transmitter/repeater sites and service more than 450,000 current wireless cable subscribers, as well as provide wireless service to all of Hong Kong.W

EastLink invests $6 million in PEI

Maritime owned and operated EastLink announced it will make a $6 million investment in the technological infrastructure of Prince Edward Island over the next six months.

The Halifax-based communications provider has plans to use Philips Canada’s broadband technology to provide Prince Edward Island with an upgraded cable infrastructure. The initial upgrades will focus on the Charlottetown area, benefiting more than 16,000 cable subscribers.

Lee Bragg, co-CEO of EastLink, says the upgrade will involve three key components: increasing the bandwidth of the province’s cable network; providing digital capability over the broadband network; and transforming the current one-way network to a two-way system that enables Internet capabilities.

He says high-speed Internet and digital cable will be available to Charlottetown area consumers as early as this fall.W

Optical Fiber agreement signed

Optical Fiber Consortium, an organization comprised of several Ottawa businesses, school boards, hospitals, universities and government departments, has signed an umbrella agreement with Vidotron Tlcom to create a community optical fiber network in Ottawa.

As part of the agreement, Vidotron will build an optical fiber network throughout Ottawa, linking more than 25 partner sites. The Consortium says this network will be one of the first in which participating organizations will own and control their individual strands of fiber.

According to the group, this concept of fiber control and ownership will dramatically reduce costs and allow for advanced, innovative applications and services.W

Glentel supplies system for Alliance

Vancouver-based Glentel Inc., a provider of integrated satellite solutions, has been selected to supply the communications system for the Alliance pipeline.

Glentel will engineer, install and maintain the communication system that will link field personnel from anywhere along the pipeline, which runs from Chicago, IL to Fort St. John, BC. Pipeline control centres will be located in both Calgary, AB and Minneapolis, MN.

The system will be satellite-based and interfaced with conventional two-way radio to insure both in- and out-of-vehicle communication. It is designed to ensure the safety of the pipeline’s operations, Alliance staff, and nearby communities.

The Alliance pipeline is 3,700 kilometres long, will have an initial throughput of 37.5 million cubic metres of natural gas per day.W

St. Thomas gets network upgrade

Rogers Cable Inc., Toronto, has announced a $5.1 million network upgrade in St. Thomas, ON, expected to be completed by this winter.

Rogers says the upgraded network will provide residents of St. Thomas with state-of-the-art technology in both digital cable and high-speed Internet access. It is designed to offer customers more programming channels and choices, increase the quality of picture and sound and introduce the Rogers@Home high-speed Internet product.W

Republic of Ghana gets wireless network

United Communications Systems International (UCSI) of Dallas, TX has teamed up with Brampton, Ontario’s Nortel Networks to provide a broadband wireless access network in major cities across the Republic of Ghana. The four-year contract is estimated to be worth more than US$180 million.

UCSI plans to use Nortel’s Reunion broadband wireless access system to provide Ghana with high-speed Internet access, along with other voice and data services. The company will target the banking industry, as well as small and medium-sized businesses.

UCSI has started the initial installation of this network, which will include switching elements, fiber optic cable and point-to-point microwave technology.W

Cygnal group to deploy wireless LAN

Cygnal Technologies Corp. of Oshawa, ON has announced that its Normex Telecom group has won a contract for the design and supply of a wireless LAN at Alcan Aluminum Ltd.’s newest plant.

Currently under construction in Alma, PQ, the plant is the largest construction site in North America. Cygnal says the plant will utilize a network with new spectrum high-speed access, in accordance with the newest standard in the wireless field.

Normex Telecom Inc. is a Cygnal Technologies company that designs and installs structured cabling, broadcast and wireless communications systems.W

Nortel selected for all-optical network

Brampton, Ontario’s Nortel Networks has announced a multi-million dollar agreement with Qwest Communications of Boca Raton, FL to supply optical networking equipment for a nationwide all-optical network in the U.S.

Qwest plans to deploy Nortel Networks’ Qtera ULTRA photonic networking system as part of the first phase of its ultra long-haul optical network announced last November. The Qtera system will transport wavelength division multiplexed signals up to 4,000 kilometres, without opto-electronic regeneration.

Qwest expects to begin carrying commercial Internet Protocol (IP) traffic coast-to-coast over multiple, 10 Gbps channels by the end of the year. W

Group Telecom to install fiber-optic network

Recently signed strategic agreements with five national property management companies will give Group Telecom Inc. of Toronto the ability to install its fiber-optic network in 229 office buildings in 13 markets across Canada.

These additional buildings complement the company’s approximately 1,300 on-net buildings and 148,650 fiber strand kilometre network.

Under the agreements with Bentall Real Estate Services, Brookfield Properties Corp., Cadillac Fairview Corp., Oxford Development Group and Standard Life Assurance Co., Group Telecom will offer its high-speed data, Internet applications and voice services to small and medium-sized business tenants.W

BCI and Telmex to partner in South America

Bell Canada International Inc. of Montreal and Mexican telecom provider Telefonos de Mexico have signed an agreement to create a facilities-based communications company that will act as their principal expansion vehicle in the South American marketplace.

The new company is expected to have an initial capitalization of US$3.5 billion, which will include the South American assets of BCI and the Brazilian assets of Telmex, as well as US$1.8 billion in cash from the parties.

The new enterprise will be positioned to take advantage of the broadband, mobile wireless and Internet opportunities available in South America through its deployment of competitive networks across both fixed and mobile platforms.

“The launching of this new enterprise is timed to capitalize on the explosive growth in South America for advanced communications services,” says Michael Sabia, CEO of BCI. “South American governments are liberalizing their telecommunications markets to meet the escalating demand for basic and advanced services.”

The company’s network development will initially be concentrated in Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela.W

Stream and Hydro Mississauga team up

Toronto’s Stream Intelligent Networks Corp. and Hydro Mississauga are teaming up to build a high-speed, hybrid fiber optic and wireless network that will provide data communication services in the City of Mississauga, ON.

The companies say this joint venture will allow the City of Mississauga’s businesses to benefit from enha
nced high-speed broadband services. The network, which will provide services to high volume enterprise data users and service providers such as CLECs, ISPs, ASPs and business recovery services, is expected to cover the equivalent of over 1000 fiber kilometres over the next five years.

In addition, the Mississauga network will be linked to other regions serviced by Stream’s network across Canada and the United States.

“We view fiber optics as an important strategic opportunity in the emerging de-regulated energy business,” said Ron Starr, executive chair and acting president and CEO of Hydro Mississauga. “This project utilizes our existing infrastructure of overhead lines and buried ductwork systems and offers a natural fit with our distribution business.”W

Telus wins TransAlta contract

Telus of Burnaby, BC has signed a five-year agreement valued at more than $20 million with TransAlta Corp., an international electric energy company, based in Calgary.

The agreement will see Telus provide TransAlta with national and international voice, data and wireless communication services. Also included in the agreement is new revenue from the management of TransAlta’s internal voice telecom operations, a service previously supplied by a Telus competitor.

Telus will provide services to TransAlta’s operations in Alberta, Ontario, Washington State and its international operations in Australia.W

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