NEWS IN BRIEF: Samsung triumphs, Sky and Virgin kiss and make up, Enablence buys rival

Samsung Electronics overtook Motorola in Q3 to become the largest mobile phone vendor in the US Strategy Analytics reports. The research firm said handset sales in the US were up 6.2% from a year ago to 47.4 million phones in the quarter.

South Korean vendors, Samsung and LG Electronics both won more of the market, 22.4% and 20.5% respectively. Motorola, which has been the top vendor at its home market since 2004, saw its market share fall to 21.1% from 32.7% a year before.

All three lag Nokia on total sales - it has a global market share of around 38%. It's US market share fell from last year to 8.4%,  but was still up from levels seen earlier this year.

British pay-TV operators British Sky Broadcasting and Virgin Media have signed two channel carriage agreements. The first covers the return of Sky's Basic channels - including Sky 1, Sky 2, Sky 3, Sky News, Sky Sports News, Sky Arts 1, Sky Arts 2, Sky Real Lives and Sky Real Lives 2 - to the Virgin cable TV platform from 13 November. The second agreement covers continued carriage of Virgin Media TV's basic channels (Living, Living 2, Bravo, Bravo 2, Trouble, Challenge and Virgin 1) on Sky's satellite platform. Both agreements will run concurrently until 12 June 2011.

The agreements include fixed annual carriage fees for the channels. Both firms have secured additional capped payments if their channels meet specific performance-related targets. As part of the agreement, Virgin and Sky have agreed to end all High Court proceedings against each other relating to carriage of their basic channels.

FTTx equipment supplier Enablence Technologies has agreed to acquire Pannaway Technologies. Pannaway will be merged with Enablence's FTTx Networks Division. Enablance will pay for the deal with 25.75 million shares and a US$3 million, ten year convertible note.

Enablence said the acquisition gives it an increased base of 420 customers and an expanded equipment range offering operators a transition from ADSL and Ethernet/IP to FTTx. The combined company of Pannaway and the FTTx Networks activities are expected to achieve positive cash flow in fiscal year 2010.

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