THE WRAP: Qualcomm's TD-LTE license at risk; Vodafone plans tax challenge
It was the week that saw Qualcomm in danger of losing its TD-LTE spectrum in India, while HTC hinted at an OS buyout, and Pacnet got serious about CDN.
Qualcomm faces having its application for a BWA spectrum license in India rejected, with the telecom ministry claiming this week that the company was late submitting the paperwork. Qualcomm denied the claims, but if the DoT decides otherwise, Qualcomm could forfeit the $1.03 billion (€746 million) it paid for the license, which it had hoped to use for TD-LTE in a market that was otherwise embracing Wimax for BWA networks.
Also in India, Vodafone found itself gearing up for another tax dispute with the Indian government over its investments in Vodafone Essar. The operator has already agreed to pay $826 million in tax on its $5.4 billion buyout of Essar's stake in Vodafone Essar, but plans to contest the tax payment in local courts anyway, Economic Times reported.
It was also the week that saw HTC chairwoman Cher Wang reportedly say that the company has internally debated buying an OS platform – sparking speculation it is considering buying out WebOS from HP, should the latter (as some expect) decide to sell.
Other pundits have suggested HTC could be a possible suitor for MeeGo, if rumors of Nokia and Intel seeking to exit the platform prove accurate.
In other mobile OS news this week, Intel and Google teamed up to optimize Android for Intel Atom processors, while Samsung, NTT DoCoMo, Fujitsu, NEC and Panasonic are reportedly considering a smartphone chip partnership of their own.
It was also the week that saw Pacnet dive headlong into the CDN space with a deal to deploy a CDN based on technology licensed from EdgeCast. The new CDN offering will be in place by the end of 2011, with PoPs in the major Asian markets.
The EdgeCast angle is a key twist, as it means Pacnet’s CDN will be part of EdgeCast’s federation, which it turn means Pacnet doesn’t have to build a worldwide CDN in order to make progress on its CDN ambitions.
In other news for the week, Telekom Austria denied reports a consortium including Egyptian telecoms tycoon Naguib Sawiris, is bidding to acquire a 20% stake in the firm.
A survey by Barclays Corporate revealed UK telecoms chiefs are pessimistic about the future, believing higher taxes and regulation will stymie their business over the next decade.
The ITU called on international bodies, NGOs, standards bodies, governments, regulators, industry and academia to collaborate more closely on the creation of a single global methodology for addressing climate change and assessing the environmental impact of ICTs, reducing e-waste, and the use of submarine cables for climate monitoring and disaster warnings. The ITU said a standard methodology would give credibility to the various claims currently being made about the benefits of ICTs in addressing climate change and energy issues.
This week’s Big Rumor (besides HTC’s mobile OS strategies): Indosat is rumored to be close to a long-expected sale of some tower assets, in a deal that could be worth $500 million.
The week’s Big Number: 840 billion, which is the amount in US dollars the world's mobile operators will need to spend over the next five years to upgrade their backhaul networks for the coming data deluge, according to Juniper Research.
And finally, it was the week in which Telstra, Hewlett Packard and Fujitsu were among ten major companies booted off the 2011 Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI).
Not one technology or telecoms firm featured in the top ten global additions to the index, although the regional breakdown saw Alcatel-Lucent join the listing in Europe, NTT DoCoMo added in Asia Pacific, and Sprint Nextel in North America.