THE WRAP: Australia's $31b NBN, the battle against Skype

This week the Australian government vowed to build a national fiber network while Skype incurred the wrath of the mobile industry.

After rejecting all the bids for its next-gen network tender, the Australian government said it would take the lead in building a $31 billion fiber national network. Incumbent Telstra, excluded from the bidding, welcomed the news.

While the new Skype iPhone app attracted 1 million downloads in its first two days,

European and US operators battled to keep Skype off their networks.

After a victory in Hong Kong's High Court, PCCW's $2 billion privatisation is once more on-hold as the SFC appeals against the decision.

News media went on the offensive against the internet. AP vowed to sue aggregators to protect its content and Rupert Murdoch declared newspapers should charge for their online content.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt predicted that advertiser-supported content would remain the dominant internet model.

IBM's $7 billion bid for Sun Microsystems collapsed over price and possible anti-trust issues.

Nokia Siemens Networks took a close interest in Nortel's LTE and other wireless assets.

Sharp said it would post its first loss for 55 years. Soaring severance costs more than doubled Motorola's pre-tax charges. HTC's Q1 profit fell 30% but it retained its full-year outlook.

The number of new mobile subscribers fell 15% in the last quarter of 2008. Spam now accounts for 97% of all email, according to a Microsoft study. Facebook hit the 200 million user milestone.

The recession would halve growth in the mobile entertainment business, said Juniper Research.

Google said voice search was crucial to its mobile business.

Nokia returned to the Korean handset market. Acer's new smartphones will begin shipping later this month.

The EU set tight rules for gadget energy consumption.

Taiwan chip firm Elan filed a patent suit against Apple over the multi-touch technology used in iPods, iPhones and Macbooks.

Spotify, the popular new music app, will soon be ported to mobile phones and game consoles.

And NEC announced a technology that could determine "an author's feelings based on text data in order to automatically generate entertaining blog content."

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