Kakao launches premium taxi-hailing app
South Korea’s Kakao, the firm behind the popular messaging app KakaoTalk, introduced a premium taxi-booking app that offers luxury cars to customers.

KakaoTaxi Black vehicles have a minimum fee of KRW8,000 ($7.09) compared to KRW3,000 for its regular taxis, the Korea Herald reported today.

The premium service works the same as its taxi-hailing app, but the “black” vehicles offer a complimentary beverage and professional licensed drivers in suits.

Singapore’s M1 posts mixed Q3 results
Singapore’s third largest operator M1 reported falling service revenue in Q3 from a year ago as postpaid ARPU slid 1 per cent and its subscriber base dropped slightly.

The operator’s net profit was flat at SGD44.9 million ($31.3 million) during the quarter, while its EBITDA increased 2.6 per cent year-on-year to SGD87 million, boosted by a 33 per cent drop in its capex from a year ago.

The company’s operating revenue rose 11 per cent to SGD278 million, driven almost entirely by a sharp increase in handset sales, which were up 70 per cent year-on-year and more than doubled in the first nine months of the year. But overall service revenue fell slightly to SDG205 million in Q3, and mobile revenue also dropped about 1.2 per cent to SGD166 million.

M1 added 33,000 postpaid customers over the last 12 months but lost 45,000 prepaid users, as its user base fell to 1.89 million.

Kogan relaunches MVNO services on Vodafone’s network
Australian online retailer Kogan will use Vodafone’s network to launch mobile service under the Kogan Mobile brand.

Kogan Mobile offers a variety of prepaid 30-day packages starting at AUD29.90 ($21.07) for unlimited domestic calls and texts and 3GB of data. It’s also offering a discount on prepaid 90-day plans at a rate of AUD24.99 per 30 days.

The retailer, which didn’t disclose details of the partnership, previously used Telstra’s network to resell services offered by ispONE. Kogan had 120,000 customers before it closed in 2013 after ispONE ended its contract with Telstra.

Huawei, Jio join Small Cell Forum board
The Small Cell Forum appointed Chinese vendor Huawei and India 4G operator Reliance Jio to its board.

The forum also created two new regional operator groups to gather local knowledge on small cells and hetnets. The new Asia group will be led by China Unicom and Reliance Jio, while the North American group will be led by AT&T and Sprint.

PCCW to launch OTT video service
PCCW Media will launch an over-the-top video service called Viu OTT in Hong Kong next week, with plans to roll out the service in India and the Middle East.

Using adaptive streaming technology from Vuclip, the service enables users to stream or download content directly onto their mobile phones, tablets and PCs. Based on a freemium model, Viu OTT offers Hong Kong users access to premium content sourced from South Korea, Japan, mainland China and Taiwan on multiple platforms and devices, PCCW said.