In a regular series, Mobile World Live‘s Asia Editor Joseph Waring provides a regional roundup of news snippets:
Macau operators offer daily data alerts
Macau’s four mobile operators have all given their customers the option to receive daily data usage alerts so they can accurately keep track of the quantity of data they consume.
The introduction of the alerts was one of the conditions the regulator imposed when it renewed all four’s 3G licences last month. The Telecommunications Regulation Bureau (DSRT) said CTM, 3 (Hutchison), SmarTone and China Telecom have all complied by January, the Macau Daily reported.
DSRT Deputy Director Hoi Chi Leong said it was up to each operator as to when and how often alerts needed to be sent to customers. Instead of imposing strict requirements, he said it has given them flexibility in order for them to compete on service.
Beginning in April, once a subscriber has hit his/her data limit, user confirmation is required before the operator can allow additional data usage. And in June the companies need to send customers real-time alerts of their data usage, and can’t charge subscribers if the usage alerts are delayed.
Inventec plans India factory for Xiaomi devices
Taiwan’s contract electronics maker Inventec plans to expand its production base by setting up a factory in India.
No timeframe was given, but the factory would handle rising demand from China’s fast-growing smartphone maker Xiaomi as well as other brands looking to tap into the world’s third largest smartphone market, the China Post said.
Inventec said it would own the factory but would receive support from Xiaomi to build it, but no details were provided. It also didn’t indicate how much of the production capacity would go to Xiaomi devices.
KT, Nokia demo antenna technology
South Korea’s KT has teamed up with Nokia to test new antenna technology that can expand the range of a single LTE base station to as far as 120km.
The technology, called 4-transmit-4-receiver (4T4R), doubles the number of antennas used in LTE base stations and supports a peak download speed of up to 100Mb/s, the Korea Times reported.
The expanded reach will help reduce the cost of covering sparsely populated and remote areas.
Samsung to make 70% of Apple’s A9 chips
Samsung and Globalfoundries will together produce 70 per cent of Apple’s next-generation A9 processors with their 14nm FinFET technology.
DigiTimes said Samsung has the capacity to produce 40,000 12-inch wafers each month to meet demand from both Apple for the A9 and Samsung for its Exynos processor. Globalfoundries, with a capacity of up to 30,000 wafers a month, will be Samsung’s backup fab for making Apple’s 14nm A9 chips.
Taiwan’s TSMC, which fabricates all of Apple’s A8 chips for the iPhone 6 models, will handle the remaining 30 per cent.
TSMC’s net profit climbs 40%
TSMC’s net profit jumped 40 per cent last year to TWD263.9 billion ($8.32 billion) thanks to strong demand for high-end chips in mobile devices.
The Taiwan firm, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, said that its earnings per share increased to TWD10.18 from TWD7.26 a year ago, the China Post said. Its gross margin was up 2.4 percentage points to 49.5 per cent.
Chips produced using its 20nm process accounted for 21 per cent of its Q4 sales, while 28nm chips made up 30 per cent, the Post said.