THE WRAP: LTE hits new iPad, NSN cuts more businesses
It was the week that saw the arrival of the LTE iPad, NSN offload another chunk of its business, and Telstra finalize its restructure deal.
Apple unveiled its long-awaited iPad 3 this week, only it’s not called the ‘iPad 3”, but “the new iPad”.
The iPad supports LTE (albeit mainly for US networks offering LTE on the 700-MHz and 2,100-MHz bands), and uses a dual-core A5X processor and a quad-core GPU. The device will be launched in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Switzerland, UK and the US Virgin Islands next week.
Meanwhile, Dow Jones reported this week that Apple is considering softening its stance in its patent assault against the Android operating system, seeking royalty payments from certain vendors instead of pursuing legal battles. However, the report cites unnamed sources, and Samsung is reportedly uninterested in Apple’s offer.
Bonus Apple-related news this week: China Mobile said it now has 15 million iPhone-using customers, despite not yet having an agreement letting it sell the device, and none of the handsets supporting its TD-SCDMA network. China Mobile will be the only Chinese mobile operator not to officially offer the iPhone, once China Telecom starts selling the iPhone 4S today.
In non-Apple news for the week, Nokia Siemens Networks unloaded another non-core business unit – namely its proprietary fixed-wireless broadband business Expedience, which is now the property of Spanish technology holding firm CN Tetragen.
No financial terms were disclosed, but the deal covers all assets of NSN’s fixed-wireless division, including active customer and supplier contracts.
NSN also announced this week it is transferring 240 R&D staff from its Finnish OSS and SDM facilities to IT services firm Tieto, as part of its restructuring plan.
In other news for the week, Telstra finalized the terms of it’s A$11 billion (€8.8 billion) agreement to separate and participate in the National Broadband Network project, after nearly three years of negotiations.
Meanwhile, SingTel announced its own restructuring plans, under which it will revamp its organizational structure into three units: consumer, “digital l!fe” and enterprise ICT. The digital l!fe unit will encompass OTT services delivered through bundles and add-ons.
SingTel also said it would increase its presence in the mobile marketing sector – and to that end bought mobile marketing company Amobee for $321 million.
Other operator news for the week: PT Indosat revealed its 2011 net profit grew 28.7%, even as it missed expectations with its revenue growth; Telenor said it is implementing a common billing platform for Telenor Pakistan, DiGi in Malaysia and DTAC in Thailand, with Huawei Technologies named as the lead vendor for rolling it out; and NTT Com launched its own fiber network in Indonesia’s East Jakarta Industrial Park, via its local subsidiary.
And finally, it was the week that Russian firm CBOSS found itself booted from the next Mobile World Congress after promising delegates dates with dancing girls.
CBOSS is well-known at exhibitions like MWC and CommunicAsia for having sexy female dance troupes perform at its stands, but the OSS/BSS company apparently crossed the line at this year’s event after handing out flyers offering delegates a chance to discuss “your precious thoughts on the telecommunications business trends at a romantic dinner” with one of the “CBOSS Shining Stars”.
The Telegraph reported that female telecoms executives were angered by the promotion, with Stephanie Liston, director at Women in Telecoms and Technology, describing it as "shocking".
CBOSS has yet to comment on the story, but shortly after the story was published, the GSMA announced that CBOSS would not be returning to the MWC next year, although it didn’t mention the romantic-dinner gimmick directly.
"There were a number of things during MWC 2012 that made us reconsider the CBOSS contract and to take this action," a spokesman told The Telegraph.