THE WRAP: Apple settles Nokia suits; Telia teams with Telenor

Michael Carroll
17 Jun 2011

Legal eagles took the spotlight this week, with Nokia and Apple avoiding a lengthy court battle over patents, Thailand’s True lodging a criminal complaint against rival DTAC, and jail terms for iPad leakers and Facebookers.

Years of patent litigation between Nokia and Apple was brought to a harmonious end when the US vendor agreed to pay a one-off fee and royalties to its Finnish counterpart to license its patents.

Steven Elop hailed the deal as a win for Nokia, but commentators suggest the outcome may only offer the firm short-term relief, noting that Apple’s payments amount to roughly two days revenue in total.

Across the water in Denmark, Telia and Telenor agreed a deal to combine their radio access networks in a bid to cut investment in new cell towers and accelerate network expansion.

The alliance came too late to prevent a network meltdown at Telenor’s Norwegian business, caused by a spike in signaling traffic after it rebooted a central server late last week. The carrier pledged to refund customers for dropped calls and SMSes during the shutdown, which lasted until Monday.

In Thailand, True lodged a criminal complaint against rival DTAC claiming the firm breaches Thai foreign investment laws.

Malaysian carrier Maxis also faces scrutiny for breaking foreign investment rules over its stake in Indian carrier Aircel, after a local press investigation discovered it could control up to 99% of the cellco.

Amid the battling telcos, web firms Google, Skype, Yahoo and eBay teamed with Nokia to launch the Asia Internet Coalition. The body plans to press governments in the region to develop policies to promote an open internet.

Singaporean carrier SingTel outlined plans that appear to run contrary to the Coalition’s goals, announcing it will prioritize mobile data traffic for its highest paying customers.

John Tanner concluded that Hong Kong carrier CSL’s LTE network works better than Wi-Fi connections following a trial of the service, but warned buyers to beware data download limits.

In China, three people were jailed for leaking images of Apple’s iPad2 from manufacturer Foxconn. The information was used to design protective covers for the device ahead of its official launch.

And in the UK, a juror was jailed for eight months after discussing a court case with the defendant on Facebook while the trial was underway.

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