THE WRAP: NZ telcos recover from quake; Jobs launches iPad 2
It was the week that saw telcos in quake-struck New Zealand labor to restore services, along with the next iPad and mobile music price rigging in Korea.
New Zealand's major operators mostly restored services in Christchurch after last week's deadly 6.3 magnitude earthquake that killed at least 161 people. Some customers remain without phone or internet services due to physical damage and power outages.
Apple’s Steve Jobs unveiled the highly-anticipated iPad 2, which is thinner, lighter and faster than the original, however analysts say it’s not a game changer in terms of hardware.
Analysts noted tablets have already carved out a niche market and present operators with a new avenue for increasing ARPU.
UK ISP TalkTalk escaped a regulator fine for overbilling former Tiscali customers, after revealing it has paid £2.5 million (€2.9 million) out in refunds. However the sum is a fraction of the £55 million in synergies the combined business is tipped to make in 2011.
South Korean carriers SK Telecom and KT were fined 1.96 billion won (€1.2 million) and 811 million won respectively by the country’s antitrust watchdog for rigging prices of DRM-based digital music download services.
Deutsche Telekom called for telcos to have open access to infrastructure used by other industries that could boost fiber deployments.
Pacnet signed an MOU with the municipal government of Chongqing to construct and operate data centers as part of the region’s plans to become a global cloud computing hub.
Juniper Research said new laws will be needed to address security and privacy issues arising from growing use of augmented reality.
The Telenor/Wind/VimpelCom saga continued this week, with Telenor dropping its attempt to secure injunctive relief over VimpelCom’s acquisition of Wind Telecom, and then gaining backing from financial voting advisors for its objections to the deal.
This week’s Big Rumor: China Mobile and Japan's NTT DoCoMo are considering taking over Thailand's AIS, if it defaults on the $2.4 billion (€1.7 billion) the government is seeking in compensation.
Leading Turkish GSM carrier Turkcell pushed its launch in Germany back to April, after originally aiming to go live during 1Q11.
Hong Kong regulator Ofta sold another 20 MHz of spectrum to SmarTone-Vodafone in the 850-MHz band and Hutchison in the 900-MHz band for HK$1.952 billion (€179 million).
And finally, it was the week that saw a Lenovo-made prototype laptop with an eye-controlled user interface make its official debut. Swedish firm Tobii Technology unveiled the innovation at CeBIT in Germany, claiming the laptop is the first in the world to offer optical control by tracking user’s eye movements.