Swoop picks up 34km of dark fibre in Adelaide with iFibre purchase

Seventh acquisition since May will cost Swoop AU$1.5 million.

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Australian telco Swoop announced on Tuesday it was gaining 34km of dark fibre in Adelaide thanks to a AU$1.5 million purchase of local businesses connectivity player iFibre. Swoop said the network connects "key data centres and commercial buildings".

The deal is expected to be completed at the end of month when AU$1.2 million will be handed over, and AU$300,000 will be held for "any potential claims and adjustments".

"Predominantly built in its own ducts and with low utilisation, the acquisition represents significant value for Swoop, compared to us beginning an organic build," Swoop CEO Alex West said.

"Having previously been responsible for fibre operations at Vocus, we know both the technical and business aspects of dark fibre incredibly well. The team and I are excited to be entering this market again with a network that is immediately ready for sale by our teams."

Along with West, Swoop is full of Vocus alumni, including Vocus founders James Spenceley and Tony Grist, current Swoop executive director Matthew Hollis, COO Julian Breen, and NodeOne chief executive Richard Whiting.

In recent months, Swoop has been on an acquisition spree. In June it paid AU$1.75 million for Gippsland wireless broadband provider Speedweb; this was followed a week later with a deal to buy Perth fixed wireless provider ComComs, which owned the NodeOne brand; and in July, Swoop bought South Australian fixed wireless provider Beam Internet for AU$7.2 million.

By October, it parted with AU$4.2 million for Newcastle telco Countrytell and raised AU$41 million to fund its buying spree. Later that month it picked up Voicehub Group and Harbourtel in a AU$4 million deal.

Elsewhere in South Australia on Tuesday, Fujitsu picked up a deal with the state Department for Correctional Services to provide its iSAFE Integrated Offender Management System. The company said it would overhaul the existing system, and expected the new iSAFE system to be fully operational in 2023.

Last week, Fujitsu teamed up with Korea's KT and NTT Docomo to test Fujitsu's Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) base station in a Seoul lab. Fujitsu claims it has the world's first Open RAN-compliant base stations, and said NTT has adopted them for commercial use in Japan.

"The tests involved verification of the interoperability between the base station controllers of Fujitsu's 5G base station equipment and a Korean medium-sized vendor's radio unit, as well as end-to-end communication tests. The companies successfully verified O-RAN compliant operation during the tests," Fujitsu said, presumably to avoiding mentioning Samsung.

"Fujitsu supplied KT with 5G base station equipment and provided support during the verification tests, while Fujitsu in turn received NTT Docomo's technical support for multi-vendor interoperability testing."

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