In a regular new series, Mobile World Live‘s Asia Editor Joseph Waring provides a regional roundup of news snippets:
Korea’s operators cut activation fee
South Korean consumers will save over $100 million a year after the country’s big three mobile operators reduced the registration fees for new customers by 50 per cent over the weekend. The reduction comes after a 40 per cent cut a year ago.
Responding to government pressure to lower consumers’ phone bills, the operators will need to eliminate the fees next August.
The new fee will be KRW10,800 ($10.63) at SK Telecom, KRW7,200 at KT and KRW9,000 at LG Uplus, the JoongAng Daily reported.
SK Telecom expects the lower fee to reduce customers’ bills by about KRW70 billion ($69 million) per year while KT predicted KRW30 billion in savings for its users.
Wanda teams up with Baidu, Tencent on e-commerce
China’s Wanda Group, Baidu and Tencent have created a CNY5 billion ($814 million) e-commerce business. Wanda Group will have a 70 per cent stake in the Hong Kong-registered company, while Baidu and Tencent each will own 15 per cent.
By joining forces with Tencent and Baidu, Wanda said it will become the biggest online-to-offline e-commerce platform in the world. Its plans include developing payment and e-commerce financial products, building a universal customer loyalty program, big data integration, Wi-Fi sharing and product integration.
Samsung opens HK ‘briefing’ centre
Samsung has opened an executive briefing centre in Hong Kong for business partners and their clients to demo its business-to-consumer and business-to-business products and services. The 280-square-meter centre has six themed experience zones covering the hospitality, retail, restaurant services, corporate, education and transportation & logistics industries.
Telstra, Telkom form JV
Telstra and Telkom Indonesia have agreed to form a joint venture to provide network applications and services to businesses in Indonesia. The venture is expected to start in 2015 and will offer local enterprises as well as multi-nationals managed network and security services as well as cloud and unified communications services.
The JV is part of Telstra’s expansion plans for Asia, where it is looking for growth opportunities outside its stable home market in Australia.
Seven invest $250M in SEA-US subsea cable
Seven telecoms operators have agreed to invest $250 million in a 20Tb/s submarine cable connecting Southeast Asia and the US. The 15,000km SEA-US system will be built by NEC using 100GB technology and is expected to be completed in the last quarter of 2016.
The consortium includes Globe Telecom, Telkom Indonesia International, Telkom USA, GTI Corporation, RAM Telecom International, Teleguam and Hawaiian Telcom.