News In Brief: Google, Nokia, Digg, Skype, Acadia, Aepona, BlackBerry Partners Fund, ZTE, Bouygues Telecom

Mobile users downloaded around 2.4 billion applications from app stores in 2009, according to ABI Research.

The European Commission has decided to harmonise the technical rules for EU member states interested in allocating spectrum on the 800MHz band for LTE.

Google has launched a free augmented reality app for its Android smartphones that translates text from English, French, Italian, German and Spanish, based on photographs.

Nokia has launched its Ovi Life Tools range of healthcare, agriculture, education and entertainment apps in China, indicating that launches in more emerging markets will follow.

User-driven news site Digg will shed 10% of its staff in order to cut costs, NY Times reported.

Skype has unveiled new calling plans for more than 170 countries that slash subscriptions up to 60% to $1.09 (€0.65) per month compared to its standard Pay As You Go rates.

Former Compaq chief Michael Capellas has been appointed CEO of private cloud computing firm Acadia, a Cisco-EMC joint venture.

Aepona, a UK-based Network as a Service software supplier, has secured an additional $10 million (€7.8 million) investment to expand sales and business development resources. The funding round was led by BlackBerry Partners Fund, along with existing investors.

ZTE has expanded its range of own-brand devices sold via French carrier Bouygues Telecom, with the Link - its first Android device sold in the country – and the Cute, which offers a touchscreen and EDGE connectivity.