Hutchison expands infrastructure in Hong Kong to increase bandwidth

Upgrade of infrastructure will increase transmission speeds to 100 gigabits per second from 10Gbps and meet demand for bandwidth

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 June, 2013, 4:45am

Fixed-line network operator Hutchison Global Communications (HGC) is expanding its high-capacity infrastructure as it prepares to launch a range of new services from the second half of this year.

With a capital expenditure budget of HK$700 million, HGC has started deploying a new "backbone network" that will increase transmission speeds to 100 gigabits per second from 10Gbps to meet demand for high bandwidth from businesses and consumers.

The "100G" network will enable HGC, a division of Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong, to deliver online and content services to its network of more than 10,000 buildings with direct fibre-optic connections.

It will also serve as the infrastructure through which TVB Network Vision, the pay-television business of free-to-air broadcaster Television Broadcasts, will transmit matches of the 2014 football World Cup in Brazil to subscribers.

Jennifer Tan Yuen-chun, HGC's managing director, said: "Upgrading our backbone network is the major focus this year."

The company recently contracted Swedish firm Transmode to supply packet-optical networking systems for this new high-capacity network for three years. This will interconnect a large number of HGC's corporate customers, its data centres and submarine cable landing stations across the city.

"I believe we have invested the most over the past 10 years to develop an advanced high-speed network, compared with other providers," Tan said. "We are working hard to deliver a network that will support intelligent buildings and the smart-connected devices that people use."

Byron Chiang Yung-hon, technology director at HGC, said the network will allow more than a million TVB subscribers to watch World Cup matches in ultra-high definition.

"We're moving seamlessly into the content business with TVB as our partner," Chiang said.

The new network is also expected to accelerate HGC's effort to provide an array of cloud-computing services to both business and consumers in the city.

Cloud computing enables companies and consumers to buy, lease, sell or distribute over the internet as well as private networks a vast array of software, business systems, data and other digital resources, including storage, as an on-demand service, like electricity from a power grid. Such resources are hosted in data centres.

HGC teamed up last year with technology giant Oracle, consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and other major carriers in a consortium - the Asia-Pacific Cloud Alliance - that aims to accelerate adoption of cloud computing in the business community. Research firm Ovum has forecast that spending by Asia-Pacific companies on cloud services will reach US$12 billion by 2016.

Raymond Ho Wai-ming, consumer market director at HGC, said the company was keen to use its 10G network to promote video-on-demand programming from third-party content providers like TVB to the more than 1.6 million households that it covers.

Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong, controlled by Li Ka-shing, is involved in a variety of businesses.