THE WRAP: Google stretches further into telecom

Robert Clark
30 Oct 2009

This week Google continued its march into fresh digital turf, while India set a new date for its 3G auction.

Google stretched its restless tentacles further into telecom as it adapted its free Google Voice product to work with existing mobile numbers.

It launched a free mobile nav app and offered up a music search service, OneBox.

Reportedly, it is also mulling a bid for Indian Wimax spectrum now that the Department of Telecom has set a new auction date.

Indian comms minister A. Raja, under siege from a scandal about the issue of 2G spectrum, has trimmed the number of licenses because the military is still using 3G frequencies in sensitive border areas.

Motorola’s stock rose 10% after it unveiled its much-awaited Droid phone, based on the new Android 2.0 platform.

Nokia’s CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo flew to Beijing to launch the company’s first TD-SCDMA phone. HTC launched its first ever global ad campaign.

France Telecom set aside €1 billion ($1.5b) to ease employee stress in the wake of the 25th suicide by a staffer in the last 20 months.

The Australian communications minister revealed the value of Telstra’s network – some $30 billion - when he accidentally tabled confidential information into parliament.

SingTel weighed an IPO of a minority stake in its Australian carrier Optus, with a plan to use the proceeds to expand abroad. Malaysian operator Maxis priced its IPO next month at RM5.20 per share, valuing it at RM11.7 billion ($3.4b), making it southeast Asia’s largest ever public debut.

Opera widened its lead over iPhone as the most popular mobile browser worldwide, said StatCounter. AdMob said the iPhone accounted for 48% of smartphone browsing in the US.

The App Store broke the 100,000 applications mark.

China’s 3G rollouts boosted ZTE’s net 58% as the vendor promised to focus its attention and huge credit lines on foreign markets.

Verizon’s wireless business helped it to a 10% rise in income

as the fixed-line continued to slide. Tata Comm’s profit dived 68% as the wholesale voice market fell off a cliff.

A Beijing lawyer won a 1,000-yuan settlement out of China Mobile in the first case against the carrier under the new anti-monopoly law.

ICANN expects to introduce non-Latin domain names next year in what it calls the biggest-ever change in the workings of the net.

Hitachi bought Nortel’s packet core assets for $10 million. Cisco said it would acquire SaaS security firm ScanSafe for $183 million.

Nokia, SAP and Giesecke & Devrient formed an anti-counterfeiting JV. The EC mulled a pan-European mobile broadband network using freed-up analog TV spectrum.

NASA successfully launched a prototype of the Ares I-X, designed to replace the ageing space shuttle.

And Nordic carrier Tele2 faced a hefty bill after it faked a meteorite landing as a publicity stunt.

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