THE WRAP: Bharti and MTN go again

This week Bharti made another tilt at MTN and NTT Com bought Pacific Crossing.

Bharti and tried once more for a merger with South African cellco MTN, this time in a complex deal in which the companies will take cross-holdings in each other. If it goes through, it  will create a $20 billion giant with 200 million customers in India and Africa.

Nokia finally opened its Ovi storefront, but not without a glitch and some critical reviews. China Mobile wants a 50% share of all sales from Mobile Market, its app store slated to open in September.

NTT Communications paid around $105 million for Pacific Crossing, the owner of the PC-1 Pacific cable. Asian carriers signed an MoU for a 4Tbps regional cable, the Asia-Pacific Gateway.

China’s top economic planning body called for private investors to be allowed into the telecom sector.

The Australian government forecast it would spend A$11 billion ($8.6 billion) on its national broadband network.

BT revealed it paid $5.6 million last year to François Barrault, the sacked former head of its loss-making global services unit.

TeleSonera installed what it said was the world’s first commercial LTE base station.

AT&T Mobility will upgrade to 7.2Mbps HSPA by year-end and deploy LTE in 2011.

Microsoft launched its new search engine with the aim of overtaking no. 2 search player Yahoo. Google released an early version of Wave, combining email, instant messaging and Wikis.

Twitter co-founder Evan Williams says he wants to build a long-term business, not take an early exit.

Telstra lost yet another legal battle, this time allowing Optus wholesale access to its metropolitan local loop in metropolitan areas. Vodafone and Hutchison Australia promised not to hike prices for the first two years after they merge.

China Mobile is to sell its first Android phone from next month. Facebook sold a $200 million stake to a Russian investor, valuing the company at a third lower than two years ago.

City Telecom’s profit rose 58% thanks to broadband customer growth. IBM offered $3 billion in vendor financing to Asian and European customers.

Sol Trujillo continued to make headlines even after he left Telstra.  Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez unveiled a $14 ZTE-made “people’s phone” to be sold across Latin America and the Caribbean.

Doctors are worried about the health toll of heavy texting on US high school students, many of whom are routinely sending hundreds of texts every day.

And after an impostor created a bogus Twitter account in their name, the New South Wales police decide to set up their own account.