THE WRAP: India's 3G windfall, Google's war on privacy

Robert Clark
21 May 2010

This week Indian operators spent big on spectrum as Google enraged Europeans.

India’s 3G auction came to end, with the totals bids topping out at $14.6 billion.

Bharti Airtel ponied up $2.6 billion for 13 circles, Vodafone splashed $2.5 billion and Reliance $1.8 billion.

Vodafone wrote down the value of its Indian business – acquired three years ago for $10.7 billion – by $3.4 billion, blaming the auction and tough competition.

India’s hyper-competition also hit Reliance Communications, which announced a 16% fall in earnings.

Google faced criminal prosecution after admitting its StreetView cars had collected 600GB of personal data from home Wi-Fi networks in Germany. Fresh probes are underway in Spain, France and the Czech Republic.

Google conceded defeat to operators when it abandoned efforts to sell the Nexus One online.

In a busy week, Google also unveiled an internet TV platform and a Chrome app store, and paid $68 million for Global IP Solutions, which makes IP video chat technology.

Indonesian cellco XL Axiata picked Ericsson to supply gear to its LTE trial.

China’s State Council called for private investment in telecom networks and other basic infrastructure. The Beijing Consumers’ Association called on China Telecom and Unicom to cut monthly phone rentals.

China Unicom’s poor image is stymieing sales of the iPhone in China, according to a poll.

US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said Washington would continue to lobby Beijing over its “indigenous innovation” rules in government contracts, which heavily favor Chinese companies.

The EC fined Samsung, Infineon and others more than $400 million for fixing DRAM prices. The commission called for an end to roaming charges within Europe by 2015.

Dell boosted earnings 52% in the first quarter as corporate spending recovered.

HP beat four other companies to Palm, filings revealed.

YouTube average daily downloads topped 2 billion. Softbank and live video firm Ustream set up a JV to deliver Ustream content to Asia. Adobe launched a version of Flash for smartphones.

A ten-year research effort by the WHO failed to find a clear link between mobile phone use and brain cancer.

The UN banned its drivers from sending text messages while at the wheel.

And HP researchers outlined a plan to run data centers on cow gas.

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