It was the week the Web went dark, as prominent web firms including Wikipedia protested proposed US anti-piracy laws just as the Internet Society revealed the switch-on date for IPv6 addresses. The week also saw Sony Ericsson record a $270 million loss for the fourth quarter, and India get tough on just about everyone.
Around 7,000 websites joined a blackout on Wednesday to protest the US House of Representatives’ Stop Online Piracy act (SOPA) and Senate’s Protect Intellectual Property act (PIPA). Wikipedia was the highest-profile site to switch off its service for the day, with users urged to voice their opposition to the bills in a statement posted over its homepage.
The protest appears to have had a positive result, with eight US senators deciding to pull their support for the proposed laws – including two who co-signed the idea in the first place, the BBC reports.
Ironically, the great Internet switch-off came just a day after the Internet Society revealed the first IPv6 web addresses will go live on June 6. AT&T, KDDI, Facebook, Google and Microsoft have all committed to deploying the new addresses by that date, a move necessitated by the exhaustion of IPv4 addresses during 2011.
Sony Ericsson’s final quarter as a joint venture proved deeply unprofitable. The vendor swung from breakeven in 3Q11 to a €207 million ($268.3 million) loss in 4Q, and ended the year with a net loss of €247 million. The firm blamed the slump on tough competition and problems arising from flooding in Thailand during the quarter, but predicted a stronger 2012 as it refocuses solely on smartphones.
A Sony buyout of Ericsson’s 50% stake in the venture is due to be completed in the current calendar quarter.
Smartphones had the opposite effect on Singaporean carrier M1, which credited a 4.5% rise in annual profit to an increase in the number of subscribers using the devices. Some 67% of its total 969,000 post-paid subscribers are smartphone users.
The firm’s 2011 profit hit S$164.1 million ($128.9 million) on revenue of S$1.06 billion, which is 8.8% higher than 2010. Non-voice revenues accounted for 35.6% of sales – 3.7 percentage points higher than in 2010.
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