In a regular series, Mobile World Live‘s Asia Editor Joseph Waring provides a regional roundup of news snippets:
Samsung seeks arbitration in HK after Microsofit lawsuit
Samsung has taken the counter-offensive and is now requesting arbitration in Hong Kong to resolve its ongoing legal spat with Microsoft over smartphone patent royalties.
The move comes after Microsoft filed a lawsuit in August accusing Samsung of failing to pay royalties after it announced it would acquire Nokia’s mobile phone unit. Reuters reported that the arbitration was disclosed in the New York court filing, which did not say why Samsung has called for arbitration in Hong Kong.
Microsoft said recently it sees its opponent taking action “in order to escape…royalty payments – amounting to billions of dollars”.
Samsung has argued that smartphones made or sold by Microsoft units after the closing of the Nokia deal are not covered by the licence agreement, and it is therefore seeking damages.
Yahoo cuts 400 staff in Bangalore
Yahoo announced it is reducing its headcount in Bangalore by 400. The company has its largest engineering operation outside of California in Bangalore.
The Wall Street Journal said the cuts represent about a third of staff at the facility, which is focused on technology, operations support and engineering. The company said in a statement it was consolidating “certain teams into fewer offices” in Bangalore.
Yahoo has been attempting to bounce back since Marissa Mayer, the high-profile ex-Google executive, joined Yahoo as CEO in July 2012. Second quarter results were again disappointing.
Prior to Mayer joining, the company cut 2,000 jobs or 14 per cent of staff.
Viettel asks for parity for off-net, on-net calls
Vietnam’s Viettel has once again proposed that it be allowed to charge the same tariff for off-network calls as it does for on-network calls. The proposal would cut the cost of off-network calls by 21.6 per cent, VietNam News said.
The operator, the country’s largest mobile player with a 44 per cent market share, first made the request to the Information and Communications Ministry back in July.
A Viettel executive, the news site reported, said the mobile connection fee accounts for seven per cent of total revenue. The lower off-network rate would reduce revenue by just 1.5 per cent.
Australians report 6,000 mobile black spots
Australia has as many as 6,000 mobile black spots, but its AUD100 million ($92 million) fund set aside to fill the gaps is sufficient to install just 250 to 300 base stations. The public has reported the coverage gaps.
The Australian quoted Paul Fletcher, parliamentary secretary to the communications minister, as saying “it is important to understand that, although 6,000 locations have been nominated, this does not mean that there are 6,000 locations where a new base station is required.”
SKT and Samsung reduce latency on mobile streaming
SK Telecom and Samsung have demonstrated what they claim is ‘true real-time mobile streaming’ over a commercial LTE network. The companies used MPEG Media Transport (MMT), a next-generation media transport standard, to reduce latency by 80 per cent or just three seconds. The latency of legacy live video streaming over mobile networks can be up to 15 seconds.
The demonstration was conducted by Btv Mobile, SK Telecom’s mobile IPTV service.