News In Brief: Cricket Communications; Qtel Group, Qualcomm, Verizon Business, O2

US cellco Cricket Communications is upgrading its next-generation, tiered, messaging architecture with router and anti-spam products from Airwide Solutions. The upgrade also expands Cricket’s overall messaging capacity.
Qtel Group has co-founded the first Mobile Entertainment Forum office in the Middle East. Located in Qatar, the office will act as a hub for developing new mobile applications, and health and education services, in the MENA region.
Qualcomm has become the first fabless chip maker to join SEMATECH, a global consortium of chip manufacturers. The US firm will collaborate with the consortium to advance CMOS scaling and assess the feasibility of technologies designed to extend Moore’s Law.
Verizon Business claims to be the first global provider of Computing as a Service (CaaS) to receive SAP certification for its cloud-based service. Separately, the US firm has launched a cloud-based storage service and associated data-retention IT consulting services for businesses.
AT&T has quietly dropped plans to introduce data caps for its DSL broadband services, killing metering trials in Nevada and Texas.
Vodafone plans to launch a version of its 360 Shop app store exclusively for its growing range of Android handsets, the 360 Shop on Android.
O2 could be the next UK operator to face industrial action at the hands of the Communications Workers Union, which has already threatened strike action over a pay dispute with British Telecom.
Spain will allocate fresh frequencies to telecoms firm in 2011, but hasn’t yet decided whether to auction the spectrum. The 800MHz band freed up from analog TV will be available, along with the 900 and 1800MHz, and 2.6GHz frequencies, reports.
Nokia Siemens Networks has integrated its microwave backhaul system with cell site and aggregation routers from Cisco to boost mobile backhaul capacity. The firm’s FlexiPacket Microwave offers packet data capacity of up to 1Gbps, and can be installed in existing base stations.
Sony Ericsson will upgrade its Xperia range of smartphones to the Android 2.1 operating system in 3Q, and will add HD video recording capability to its X10 in 4Q.
Telenor Norway will rely on Capgemini and Tata Consultancy Services to provide future maintenance and development, after cutting the number of IS providers it works with to boost efficiency.