News In Brief: Virgin Mobile, Huawei, VNPT, Aster, Tadiran, Nokia, Vimpelcom, ZTE, G&D, Google, Intelsat

Indian operator MTNL has shortlisted UK-based Virgin Mobile to take over the management of its 3G network. The Spice Group, the sole other bidder, was dropped due to a lack of 3G experience, reports claim. Virgin Mobile is already operating in India though a CDMA partnership with Tata Teleservices.

Telekom Austria has selected Nokia to upgrade its networks in Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Liechtenstein, Serbia and Slovenia, covering 18.5 million customers. The deployment includes an IP-based microwave transmission network, a management system and related integration and support services. 
VimpelCom, the newly-formed Telenor and Altimo JV, has appointed Alexander Izosimov as CEO and Jo Lunder as chairman. Lunder, Leonid Novoselsky and Dr. Hans Peter Kohlhammer will be the independent members of VimpelCom’s board of directors.

Huawei has won a contract to supply a 3G network to EVNTelecom. The Vietnamese operator will begin offering service by the end of April, 2010.
ZTE is working with SingTel to conduct LTE trials in the Philippines market. Under the agreement, the trial is scheduled to run for six to nine months starting early 2010 in order to meet the strong local market needs for broadband and high-speed network access.
VNPT has launched the Vietnam leg of the Asia America Gateway (AAG) subsea cable.
Indian tower companies Aster Infrastructure and Essar Telecom Infrastructure have commenced talks over a possible merger. The companies have an estimated 5,500 towers between them.
Giesecke & Devrient has become the sole owner of Venyon Oy after acquiring Nokia’s stake in the NFC provider.
SweetDreams, an app that sends late-night calls straight to voicemail and automatically conserves battery power by turning off features like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, has won Google’s second Android Developer Challenge. Thirty prizes were awarded, with three overall winners walking away an additional $150,000, $50,000, or $25,000.
Intelsat has launched the Intelsat 15 satellite from the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan.  Once operational, it will replace the 709 satellite at 85º E. Its footprint covers most of the Middle East, the Indian Ocean and Russia.