News in brief: Axis, KDDI, ZTE, PCCW, Ericsson

Axis has selected Ericsson to operate and provide technical support for the the next phase of the Indonesian 3G operator's national network rollout. Ericsson will be responsible for the deployment of a GSM/EDGE and WCDMA network which spans 2100 sites throughout Jakarta, Banten and Sumatra.

KDDI intends to cut its subscription fees by as much as 24,000 yen ($255) per year, in a move intended to help the company win over customers from rivals NTT DoCoMo and Softbank. The company is promising that any customer who pays for a new handset by instalment will save as much as $96 per year. The reduced plans will be available from November 1 to December 31.

ZTE has been contracted by Chinguitel to help build a 2.5GHz mobile Wimax network in Mauritania. ZTE will provide the core network equipment, as well as wireless access devices and communication terminals for indoor and outdoor use. Chinguitel is a member of the Expresso Telecom Group.

PCCW and China Unicom have failed to agree on the terms of a planned merger, according to an unsourced report in the South China Morning Post. According to the report, China Unicom offered to buy out PCCW at a price of HK$4 ($0.51) per share, but that offer has been rejected by PCCW minority shareholders, who will not accept less than $0.64 per share.

Ericsson has unveiled a YouTube-themed handset. The W595 will feature a dedicated key for uploading videos to the video sharing site, and a key which will take users straight to the YouTube homepage. In related news, Google has released a version of Google Earth optimised for the iPhone. This version will allow users to use the iPhone's accelerometer to tilt and view mountainous terrain.

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