THE WRAP: Self-censorship in India, KT can't quit CDMA

Staff writer
09 Dec 2011

It was the week that saw India push web sites to censor themselves, as KT was forced to delay its 2G network shutdown and Chinese telcos offered concessions to end an antitrust probe.

Reports revealed this week that India's telecom minister is leaning on web giants including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to pre-censor their respective web servicesfor disparaging content.

According to the New York Times, acting telecom minister Kapil Sibal held a meeting with officials from the companies to ask them to censor disparaging or defamatory content about people including party officials. The companies are resisting, citing the obvious infeasibility of monitoring such a large volume of content.

South Korean incumbent operator KT suffered a blow to its LTE plans this week after a court ordered the operator to keep its 2G network running despite acquiring approval from the KCC last month.

KT had planned to shut down the network this week to free up the 1800-MHz band in order to refarm it for LTE. But following a class-action lawsuit filed last week by disgruntled 2G customers, a court suspended the KCC’s approval of the shutdown, putting the plan on hold. No word as we went to press on how the decision will impact KT’s launch of its LTE service, which was scheduled for this week.

It was also the week that China Unicom and China Telecom offered olive branches to regulators, in an attempt to close an antitrust probe into their internet access pricing practices.

In separate statements, both operators acknowledged that there was “room for improvement” in their pricing practices for leased line access services provided to ISPs, and promised to “earnestly implement the enhancement initiatives” suggested by the NDRC – and therefore requested the investigation be suspended.

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