THE WRAP: APCN2 fails, Twitter attacks, Zafirovski departs

John C. Tanner
14 Aug 2009

This week saw subsea cable failure, DoS attacks and the resignation of Nortel’s CEO.

Internet traffic took a hit when a segment of the APCN2 subsea cable between China and Taiwan experienced a “single point of failure”, according to reports. The cause was not yet known at press time. The APCN, EAC and SMW3 were also reported damaged. The cause is suspected to be underwater landslides caused by Typhoon Morakot.

Social networking sites Twitter and Facebook were also crippled by outages – not from cable breaks but from a denial-of-service attack. According to CNET News, the attack may have been aimed at a user of both sites in relation to posts regarding the Russia-Georgia conflict.

There was more Nortel drama this week as CEO Mike Zafirovski resigned his post the day the company reported a $274 million loss in its Q2 results. Nortel's remaining business units will now report to chief restructuring officer Paul Binning. Meanwhile, RIM hasn’t given up on its fight to buy Nortel’s LTE business, which was tentatively sold to Ericsson last week.

In other financial results, KT saw a massive 184.5% surge in Q2 profit, albeit mainly due to its merger with KTF (and forex gains).

SingTel reported a 7.7% growth in quarterly profit, but fell short of market forecasts.

Hutchison Telecom International reported a $31.6 million loss for the first half of 2009 while announcing it had sold its stake in Israeli subsidiary Partner Communications for $1.38 billion.

Sri Lanka Telecom saw 1H profits drop 57%, while Indonesian operator XL saw profits up 12% and Hutchison Australia posted a $552 million profit in the same period.

Meanwhile, analysts and regulators offered some hope for the telecoms sector. TeleGeography said the top 15 operators can expect growth to pick up soon, while a UK Ofcom report billed telecoms as a recession-buster, saying that consumers would rather cut back on eating out and holidays than on broadband and mobile.

This week’s Big Deal: Millicom sold its Cambodian operator Mobitel to Royal Group, just days after NTT DoCoMo said it would consider making an offer.

Microsoft announced a couple of deals, including a partnership with Nokia to develop business apps for Symbian, and a deal to sell its digital ad arm Razorfish for $530 million.

Reported deals in the making included Bharti-Airtel’s plans to outsource its fiber network and MTNL’s search for a partner – preferably a Wimax OEM – to run its Wimax network.

It was also a good week for Huawei Technologies, as analysts noted its progress as a tough competitor in the optical and IMS markets.

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