In a regular series, Mobile World Live‘s Asia Editor Joseph Waring provides a regional roundup of news snippets:

SoftBank to merge 4 telecom units
SoftBank Group announced it will merge its four telecoms units – SoftBank Mobile, SoftBank BB, SoftBank Telecom and Ymobile – into a single company, SoftBank Mobile.

The four company’s boards on Friday approved the deal, which needs to be approved by shareholders at a general meeting in a month. It is scheduled to be effective on 1 April.

The company said in a statement that the brand names of existing services – SoftBank, Yahoo! BB and Y!mobile — will be maintained and the units will continue to use each others’ communications networks, distribution channels and other resources.

SoftBank Group said the merger will enable it to improve operational efficiency through structural reforms and boost cooperation with other SoftBank Group companies in areas such as the Internet of Things, robotics and energy.

Singapore’s IDA plans TDD hetnet trials
Singapore’s Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) plans to allocate TDD spectrum in the 2.3-2.5GHz band for short-term trials of heterogeneous networks (hetnets).

IDA has called on operators to apply for the spectrum for the trials, which will likely run six to nine months. IDA said the successful applicants will be able to use the spectrum until the bands are allocated for long-term use, which is currently under evaluation.

IDA plans to conduct a series of hetnet trials in conjunction with the industry players to evaluate the potential benefits to consumers and enterprises.

Taiwan’s big-spending mobile shoppers
Taiwan’s Market Intelligence Centre found that more than 62 per cent of respondents polled make purchases from their mobile devices and the vast majority of those (70 per cent) spend more than TWD1,000 ($40) a month.

Almost a third of mobile shoppers said they spend an average of TWD500-1,000 a month and another third spend TWD1,001-2,000 a month, according to a poll conduced by the centre, which is part of the country’s Institute for Information Industry, the China Post said.

Another 27 per cent indicated they spend TWD2,001-5,000 a month. Almost 10 per cent reported mobile purchases of more than TWD5,001 a month.

Respondents made almost 60 per cent of their mobile purchases using smartphones, 19 per cent from tablets and the remaining 21 per cent from either of the two.

Acer aims to double smartphone output
Taiwan’s Acer plans to double its smartphone shipments this year to about 10 million units. The company exported to 53 countries last year, up from 25 the year before.

It is planning to launch Windows-based smartphones and showcase them at the Mobile World Congress in March. Its smartphone business is not yet profitable.