Facebook's Face-Melting Fast European Network
Today in international tech news: Ahead of its upcoming IPO, Facebook taps a Swedish telecommunications company to build and operate a massive pan-European optical network. Elsewhere, Change.org launches a UK platform, Apple decides to drop "4G" from the third-generation iPad, and Facebook cofounder Eduardo Saverin renounces his U.S. citizenship.
05/14/12 8:28 AM PT
Facebook has struck a deal with TeliaSonera International Carrier to build and operate a pan-European optical network.
TeliaSonera International Carrier is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sweden-based TeliaSonera Group.
The multi-terabit optical network will provide Facebook with connectivity between Internet exchange points in multiple European Cities, and its newest data center on the edge of the Arctic Circle in Lule, Sweden.
Facebook hopes to have its new data center operational by the end of this year, with the facility due to be completed by 2014.
TeliaSonera International Carrier says the optical network, which will run over its fiber-optic infrastructure, will scale up to several terabytes per second of capacity.
The total size of the network, which will include undersea cables, will be nearly 27,000 miles, according to The Next Web.
Facebook reportedly has more than 240 million monthly users in Europe.
Facebook Cofounder Renounces US Citizenship
Eduardo Saverin, cofounder of Facebook, has renounced his US citizenship, according to the BBC.
The 30-year-old Saverin will be able to avoid paying some US$600 million in taxes when he receives his share of Facebook's stock offering.
From the article:
A spokesman said Mr. Saverin "found it more practical to become a resident of Singapore since he plans to live there for an indefinite period of time."
He made the move to renounce his citizenship in September 2011.
However, his decision was only made public last week when the U.S. Internal Revenue Service published a list of Americans giving up their citizenship.
The BBC article goes on to say that Saverin has lived in Signapore since 2009. With a 4 percent stake in Facebook's stock, his personal wealth could soon rise to about $4 billion.
Change.org Launches in UK
From The Guardian:
The site, which models itself as the "YouTube of social action campaigns," is expanding its reach in the hope that millions more people will be empowered to take on corporations and even governments, said its founder, Ben Rattray.
"We're radically changing the way in which people can influence those in power to deliver social change," he said. "There is a strong tradition of social justice in the UK -- one of the most powerful petitions in history, to end slavery, was started here -- and we strongly feel that the desire to fight for change is not an American, or even western trait, but a human one."
The site reportedly has 14 million users and has hosted about 130,000 petitions since being launched in 2007.
4G No More
Heeding ongoing complaints and litigation, Apple has removed the "4G" label from its marketing materials for the iPad 3, according to Australian outlet The Age.
The case lingered into April, inspiring this explanation from tech blog ZD Net:
[The issue] is due to the fact that the new device, launched last month, does not work on long-term evolution (LTE) networks in Australia. It will work on LTE networks in the 2100MHz and 700MHz spectrum bands, but Australian telcos are using the 1800MHz spectrum bands at the moment, because the 700MHz band is still being used for analog TV.
The model name has been changed from "WiFi + 4G" to "WiFi + Cellular," according to The Age. The Age also reports:
The change to the name was made on Saturday in Australia and not only affects the Australian online Apple store but the UK and U.S. versions too, as well as others.
Apple's Australian branch said in a statement that because telecommunications companies "do not all refer to their high-speed networks with the same terminology" it had therefore "decided to use 'WiFi + Cellular' as a simple term" which describes all of the networks supported by the new iPad.
The UK has also been vocal about the 4G/3G distinction.