THE WRAP: Microsoft's $8.5b Skype deal; NBN Co picks satellite suppliers

It was the week that saw Microsoft buy Skype, NBN satellite deals in Australia and another new subsea cable for Asia. 

This week’s big deal was Microsoft’s purchase of VoIP player Skype, which raised plenty of eyebrows, not least for its $8.5 billion (€5.9 billion) price tag.
 
On the plus side, it’s a good fit for Microsoft’s product portfolio, and Microsoft needs something to compete with FaceTime and Google Voice. On the negative side, Skype is a loss-maker, and its multiplatform mobile strategy has potentially just become a lot more complicated.
 
It was also the week that saw Australia’s NBN Co hand out over $279 million in contracts for the satellite portion of the country’s national broadband project.
 
Optus will manage the satellite project, while Thaicom's IPSTAR Australia will provide the capacity via its Thaicom-4 bird. Israel-based satellite gear vendor Gilat will supply Optus with equipment for hubs and VSATs. The project, which will launch service in July with 6 Mbps downlink speeds, is intended as an interim service until NBN Co launches its own satellites in 2015.
 
Australia also saw the commission of a new subsea cable providing terabit capacity to Singapore this week. ASC (Australia Singapore Cable) International, a subsidiary of Australian project development and contracting company Leighton, has commissioned Alcatel-Lucent to build the multi-terabit cable.
 
ASC said it will have an option to upgrade the cable to 100Gbps waves, which would make it the first 100Gbps connection between Western Australia and South East Asia. That will also give it an ultimate capacity of 16Tbps once the 100Gbps option is taken.
 
This week’s financial results: SingTel said its Q4 net profit fell 2%, and that it would have actually grown 1% if not for Bharti Airtel's losses in Africa; PLDT posted a 6% decrease in Q1 profit due to declining revenue and forex losses; and Alcatel-Lucent slashed its losses by $726 million in Q1, which it says should help it meet its full year targets.
 
Arbor Networks unveiled a new product designed to protect data centers from the growing threat of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. The firm says a quarter of today’s attacks focus on applications, and that recent high-profile cases including outages on Sony’s PlayStation Network and an Amazon data center has brought the problem to the attention of company chiefs 
 
In India, it wasn’t a great week for Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices, who reportedly face having several licenses revoked for missing network rollout requirements.
 
Meanwhile, India’s telecom ministry – displeased over missing its broadband subscriber targets for last year – said it will ask for bids from fixed and wireless operators to roll out of wireless broadband services in June. Only one of two slots will be auctioned in each of the 22 circles, with the second to be reserved for state-owned BSNL.
 
In Europe, Telekom Austria missed out on the chance to take control of Telekom Srbija after the Serbian government rejected a revised €1.1 billion bid for a 51% stake. Telekom Austria claims the government’s €1.4 billion price tag is too high.
 
Deutsche Telekom unveiled a Wi-Fi exchange platform in conjunction with iPass to handle authentication, settlement, and in-depth feedback to improve customer service.
 
And finally, it was a week packed with legal action.
 
Thailand’s TOT threatened to countersue Ericsson for filing a “frivolous and unreasonable” lawsuit over its 3G tender.
 
Huawei won a preliminary injunction prohibiting ZTE from selling certain USB modems, as part of a patent battle between the two companies. 

And Google is being sued for $13 million by three French publishers claiming that thousands of their works were scanned for Google Books without their permission.

Suggested Articles

Wireless operators can provide 5G services with spectrum bands both above and below 6 GHz—but that doesn't mean that all countries will let them.

Here are the stories we’re tracking today.

The 5G Mobile Network Architecture research project will implement two 5G use cases in real-world test beds.