Menu Briefs: Undersea cable, Digital Island, Ariba, i2 Briefs: Undersea cable, Digital Island, Ariba, i2

Undersea cable planned

Three of the region's largest carriers are planning to band together to rollout a submarine telecommunications cable between Singapore and Australia.

Telecom New Zealand, Cable & Wireless Optus and Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) are undertaking a feasibility study into the development of a cable connecting Singapore to Jakarta and Perth, which will then enable connections throughout Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

As yet the companies need the approval of their boards and need to iron out some financial details. Nevertheless, all players seem confident the project will go ahead, with SingTel's executive vice president, Lim Shyong, suggesting such a move was expected considering its plans for expansion into Australia.

C&W buys Digital Island

Telecommunication company Cable & Wireless (C&W) will buy Internet hosting and streaming media company Digital Island for $US340 million in an all-cash deal, including $45 million of Digital Island debt.

Both boards of directors have approved the deal, but the offer is subject to customary terms and conditions, including US regulatory approval.

Digital Island provides Web hosting, managed Internet services and content-delivery services for corporate customers. C&W is buying the company to beef up its managed services offerings and strengthen its portfolio of data centres.

Both companies have suffered setbacks in recent months. C&W announced job cuts of 4000 employees in March, while Digital Island posted losses of $US1.1 billion last quarter.

Ariba and i2 part ways

Ariba will end its collaboration with i2 Technologies, as the company does not see a viable future for online market places.

"We will focus on procurement, supply-chain management and CPFR (collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment). These are areas in which i2 is our direct competitor and I don't see why we need to work together," said Ariba chairman Keith Krach.i2 confirmed that the joint offering by Ariba, IBM and i2 will no longer exist, but Krach said Ariba will continue to support existing marketplaces created by the alliance.

New CEO Larry Mueller said Ariba is not the only B2B vendor in trouble.

"Commerce One just had to borrow $US25 million from Microsoft. They haven't been cash flow positive ever, they have a very weak balance sheet, and they're very tied to SAP. It seems obvious to me that SAP will buy them," said Mueller. Commerce One officials denied any such takeover was in the works.

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