According to Yonhap News, North Korea resumed the construction of a highrise hotel building in Pyongyang last month, which was suspended for nearly 20 years due to funding problems. The construction of the luxury Ryugyong Hotel began in 1987 with French capital and technology for completion in 1992. The 105-story building has long been left uncompleted since early 1990s amid North Korea's chronic economic problems. According to informed sources "North Korean authorities restarted the construction of Ryugyong Hotel in April." Orascom Telecom Holding of Egypt is North Korea's partner for the construction, the sources said. "If completed, the hotel will be used as an accommodation for foreign investors and visitors, a business center and an international convention center among others," a source said. The 330-meter hotel is expected to be the world's tallest when completed.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
The Economist reports, based on a Telegeography study, that there is a new boom in the laying of undersea fiber optic cable. This one is smaller than the boom that peaked in 2001 when network operators such as Global Crossing spent nearly $13.5 billion laying undersea cables (see graphic). That boom turned to bust. However, according to Alan Mauldin of TeleGeography, the current boom is much more rooted in reality. Above all, demand is now indeed growing fast, driven by video and music traffic. Between 2002 and 2007, worldwide demand for international bandwidth grew at an average rate of 52% a year. Nevertheless, today less than a quarter of the fibre-optic strands on the chief undersea routes have been “lit”, or switched on. The need for bandwidth is not the only reason for laying cable. In addition, network operators need back-up connections and alternative routes in case cables get cut, which often happens.