THE WRAP: PLDT gets bigger; RIM shares get pounded

John C. Tanner
01 Apr 2011

It was the week that saw mobile consolidation in the Philippines, a rough week for RIM and a potentially pricier NBN for Australia.

PLDT took control of the Philippines’ No. 3 cellco Sun Cellular this week by acquiring 51.55% of its owner, DigiTel in a deal valued at $1.7 billion. The deal will boost PLDT’s market share by 15 million subscribers, but consumer groups worry that it also spells the end of unlimited calls and SMSs for Sun’s users.

RIM had an unexpectedly bad start to the week after announcing a profitable FY2011 on Friday. Net profit was up 47% and revenues grew by a third, but RIM shares took a dive after revealing it expected reduced earnings per share for the current quarter due to this month’s PlayBook launch and expected component shortages due to the Japan quake/tsunami.

It can’t have helped that PlayBook will reportedly launch without a native email app, according to an internal Verizon document acquired by the CrackBerry blog. The document says email will be supported via a future software update, but a BlackBerry device without email may not go over well with customers.

In other news for the week, the Australian government finally passed key National Broadband Network amendments through parliament – but not without conceding to changes. In particular, independent MP Rob Oakeshott said the government had given him a written guarantee that prices for future broadband technologies would be the same for both fiber and wireless segments of the project, which could well increase the cost of the project.

It was a big week for TD-LTE, with China Mobile awarding its first trial contracts. Alcatel-Lucent and NSN were the main winners to get their foot in the door first.

Also, TD-LTE is headed for Denmark with Hi3G contracting ZTE to supply a dual 4G network running both FDD and TDD-based LTE.

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