Telecoms

Here’s another sign of Qualcomm’s domination in mobile phones -Broadcom wants out of cellular baseband chips

Sirgoo Lee, chief executive of the South Korean mobile messaging company Kakao, chuckles when asked about Facebook’s acquisition of rival WhatsApp for $19bn. “All I can say is that’s a lot of money,” he says.

While it has a strong presence in India and Hong Kong, WhatsApp is a marginal player in many parts of Asia writes Simon Mundy. Kakao, Japan-based LINE and China-headquartered WeChat dominate mobile messaging in their respective home territories, and are fighting for control of the market in southeast Asia. The Japanese internet company Rakuten, meanwhile, last month spent $900m on Viber, an Israeli company that provides similar free calling and messaging services. 

We’re trying to beat the Wikipedia updates to the entries for Jimmy Wales and The People’s Operator with this news. 

Deutsche Telekom investors like the idea of selling its US mobile business much more than shareholders in the putative buyer, with shares in Japan’s Softbank down almost as much as those of the German telecoms group are up this morning.

As Telecoms correspondent Dan Thomas writes, weekend reports revived the prospect of a bid for T-Mobile USA by Sprint, which is 80 per cent owned by Softbank, although without coming to any conclusions about whether it would happen this time. 

OMG! TXTING REVS TO FALL BY $23BN IN NXT 5YRS! 

The British love for a good moan was focused on TalkTalk in dog-and-bone terms in the June quarter. 

Taiwan smartphone maker HTC will sell back its remaining stake in headphone and audio tech company Beats Electronics as the Taiwanese group tries to turn around its shrinking core phone business. 

In the mid-1990s, Nokia was well on its way to becoming the world’s leader in the adolescent mobile phone business, a dazzling rise that would see it peak with a 40 per cent global market share.

The reborn Finnish upstart, casting aside its heritage in pulp and paper, was brimming with confidence based on its market-leading technology, neat handset designs and a vision of the future that at times seemed to stretch credulity. 

Anyone who has surfed the web in places like Marrakech or Jakarta knows that internet speed in many developing countries leaves much to be desired.

But a report published this week by internet company Akamai shows that a good number of those countries are catching up.

 

Paul Taylor

A new mobile service operator called ItsOn aims to shake up the US smartphone business by offering users the ability to tailor their voice, text and data plans precisely, and – perhaps most interestingly – buy data by the app.

The company’s Zact service – a play on the word ‘exact’ – operates as a cloud-based mobile virtual network operator, buying capacity on Sprint Nextel’s 4G/LTE network and reselling it to its own customers via a smartphone app or web page.