News In Brief: Bharti Airtel, Verizon Wireless, Orange, Alca-Lu, Telekom Austria, Bridgewater

India's Bharti Airtel’s plan to acquire a majority stake in Kuwaiti operator Zain, has met a fresh obstacle, even before the company begins due diligence. A dispute has erupted over ownership of Zain Nigeria, with Econet Wireless insisting it controls the unit and does not plan to sell.
CDMA operators China Telecom, KDDI and Verizon Wireless have joined the GSMA courtesy of their commitment to deploy LTE. Qualcomm has also joined as an associate member.
Orange and Alcatel-Lucenthave announced that they have completed the first stage of Orange's live LTE trial in France. Orange said it will now evaluate the introduction of new media applications over LTE, such as VoIP steered by IMS and streaming video.
Telekom Austria has contracted Ericsson to replace its current IPTV platform. The operator said the upgrade was planned to allow the operator to deliver blended content services to multiple devices, with new features like internet over TV and video-on-demand. 
The ITU expects mobile subscriptions globally to reach 5 billion in 2010, up from 4.6 billion users at end-2009. Growth will be driven by “advanced services and handsets in developed countries” and an “increased take-up of mobile health services and mobile banking in the developing world.”
Bridgewater Systems has announced that five major operators have signed up to trial its EPC 500 “control-in-a-plane-box” for the LTE evolved packet core in 2010. The company recently won a multi-million dollar contract to supply the equipment for MetroPCS.
UK consumers have backed mobile tickets, stating they are more convenient and easier to use than traditional tickets. Some 60% of consumers surveyed by mBlox said they prefer e-tickets, while 81% said they would rather receive a ticket code by SMS than through a downloaded application.