Asia Briefs: Docomo to phase out i-mode handsets, MediaTek to buy Beijing mapping firm & more - Mobile World Live

Asia Briefs: Docomo to phase out i-mode handsets, MediaTek to buy Beijing mapping firm & more

08 NOV 2016

Docomo to phase out i-mode handsets
NTT Docomo will stop shipping mobile phones compatible with its i-mode internet access service by the end of this year but will continue to run the email service, Japan News reported.

The i-mode service, launched in 1999, helped fuel growth of the mobile internet in Japan. The number of i-mode subscribers reached 49 million in 2009 and still accounts for 30 per cent of Docomo’s customers.

Australia’s tablet market rebounds in H1
Australia’s tablet market stablised in the first half of the year and recorded modest growth for the first time (half-on-half) since 2014, according to analyst firm Telsyte.

Tablet sales grew 4 per cent year-on-year to 1.59 million units in the first half. The top four vendors in H1 were Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and Lenovo – which collectively sold 80 per cent of units.

The market is on track to record sales of 3.21 million units by the end of the year, as consumers start to replace ageing tablets and computers with newer, more functional touch screen devices, the firm said.

MediaTek to acquire Beijing-based mapping firm
Taiwan’s chip designer MediaTek reportedly will buy a 35 per cent to 49 per cent stake in map location service provider Beijing Mapbar.

MediaTek plans to spend up to $100 million through its subsidiary Gaintech in the mapping firm, in a bid to expand its foothold in the automotive chip and internet of vehicles markets, DigiTimes reported.

Citycell given new deadline to pay fees
Citycell, the smallest operator in Bangladesh with less than a 1 per cent market share, was given a reprieve by the country’s supreme court, which ordered the government to restore its services after the telecoms regulator suspended its spectrum due to an outstanding payment.

The operator owes BDT4.7 billion ($59.7 million) in spectrum and licensing fees and was ordered by the high court to pay two-thirds by 19 October. It didn’t pay the full amount, so the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) moved to cancel its licence.

According to local newsletter the Daily Star, Citycell needs to pay BTRC an additional BDT1 billion by 17 November. If it fails to make the payment, the agency can again cancel its spectrum, the Supreme Court said in its order.


Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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