Clear doubles capacity, announces new chief

Clear Communications has celebrated the appointment of a new CEO by announcing the doubling of its North Island network capacity.

Clear Communications has celebrated the appointment of a new CEO by announcing the doubling of its North Island network capacity.

As part of the upgrade, w hich cost only $14 million, Clear is using dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) technology, which takes data from different sources and channels it over a fibreoptic cable.

The company's new CEO, Peter Kaliaropoulos, is a former British Telecom executive who is currently the chief operating officer with the Singaporean telecommunications carrier StarHub. BT owns 18% of StarHub and all of Clear Communications.

"Peter is charged with leading the company into sustained growth in a market that we believe may well offer fresh opportunities for competition. He brings with him a blend of sales, marketing, operational and general management experience. Along with his expertise in the fast-developing fields of broadband and Internet services, this background equips him ideally for his new role," says the BT spokesman, Richard Slogrove.

Kaliaropoulos will assume his new role in September. Outgoing CEO Tim Cullinane resigned in June but will remain with Clear as a consultant.

Clear announced yesterday that its Northland Island fibre network is running at about 2.5Gbit/s - about double what it could offer previously - and Clear says it will be able to increase its bandwidth quickly as demand increases.

The system, the equipment for which is being supplied by Nortel, is scalable to 1.6Tbit/s, and Clear says developments coming on stream could push that up to 3.2Tbit/s.

Using DWDM, each signal is carried on its own wavelength, resulting in minimal interference. A single optical fibre can carry up to 80 separate wavelengths with today’s technology.

Meanwhile, the company has laid extra cable to complete its “self-healing loop” — 250km of fibre cable has been put down between Hamilton and New Plymouth which should mean customers won’t even be aware of problems on the network. “The customers shouldn’t see any difference at all,” says communications manager Rochelle Lockley.

Telecom will use DWDM in its new Cook Strait cable in a project due to be completed by April 2001. Telecom will spend $31 million on the project.

“To illustrate the capacity of the submarine cable Telecom intends to build, it would be sufficient to enable the entire population of the South Island to watch separate high quality video channels over the Internet simultaneously,” says Telecom’s general manager for access and transport, Richard Dammery.

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