In a regular new series, Mobile World Live‘s Asia Editor Joseph Waring provides a regional roundup of news snippets:
Globe Telecom wins appeal on SMS refund
Global Telecom in the Philippines yesterday won a ruling by an appeals court to block an order by the telecoms regulator to refund billions of pesos for alleged excess charges on text messages.
The country’s Court of Appeals granted Globe’s request for a temporary restraining order against the National Telecommunications Commission.
The court also ruled in Digitel’s favour last month on the same case. The regulator in 2012 ordered three operators to refund PHP7 billion ($160 million). The court has not yet decided on Smart’s petition.
The court ruled that there is “no definite mechanism to credit the refund to both prepaid and billed subscribers”, Business World reported. Globe had argued that there would be no clear way to refund the alleged excess charges because almost all prepaid subscribers use its unlimited text offer.
As in the Digitel case, the 60-day temporary restraining order takes effect after Globe posts a cash bond of PHP500,000.
Business World reported that the order also covers the NTC’s order to reduce the interconnection charges by 20 centavos. The court ruled that the text charges to other networks will remain at PHP0.35, as opposed to the NTC’s order in 2012 lowering it to PHP0.15.
China tower company reveals plans
China’s newly-formed National Tower Company is reportedly recruiting for top management positions and announced plans to start work on as many as 120,000 new towers by the end of the year. The build-out will take three years.
The company, which was set up in July by the country’s three mobile operators, will start next year to take control of the towers, control rooms, base stations and indoor distribution systems operated independently by the three companies, CCTime.com reported. Full integration is expected to be finished mid-2016.
India’s rural connections hit 303M
Mobile operators in India added 370,000 GSM connections in rural areas in July to increase the rural user base to 303.1 million.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said Uninor added 300,000 subscribers in July for a total of 12.6 million connections. Vodafone lost 290,000 connections and now has 90.6 million. Bharti Airtel increased its base by 90,000 to 96.7 million, Aircel added 250,000 connections for a total of 26.2 million and Idea Cellular’s base rose by 20,000 to 76.8 million.
Korea eases e-commerce rules
South Korea’s government has pushed through deregulation that will reduce restrictions on online shopping in a move to promote e-commerce and IT-based industries.
Government regulations currently require local online shoppers to provide their name, shipping address and their resident registration number, and users must complete an authentication process via text messages and digital verification numbers, the JoongAng Daily reported.
Starting next April, shoppers will only have to provide their name and shipping address to shop online and non-Koreans will be able to shop at any website they want, instead of being limited to online malls that have a foreigners-only website.
AIS adds small cells
Thailand’s AIS plans to deploy 3,000 small cell sites nationwide by year-end to serve high-density urban areas and offload traffic from its core network. It is targeting tourist destinations and shopping malls to deal with rising congestion in these areas.