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Telecom Newsletter - October 01 to October 05, 2012

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai |

Reliance Communications, India's fully integrated telecommunications service provider, announced the launch of an unique post paid plan ‘All Share Postpaid Plan’ for all (GSM & CDMA) postpaid customers in the country.

Top Stories 

Apple's share of US smartphone market rises...RIM loses

Apple has narrowed the gap with Samsung in the lucrative US smartphone market in the months before the release of iPhone 5, industry tracker comScore reported.

Samsung was the top-selling mobile-phone maker in the second quarter of 2012, with Apple in third place, according to data from Gartner.

Apple and Android-powered smartphones continued to dominate the US market, where both platforms increased shares at the expense of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM).

Samsung remained the top smartphone in the US with an unchanged 25.7% of the market at the end of August while Apple's share increased to 17.1% as compared to 15% in May, according to comScore.
Motorola and LG both lost ~1% of market share each to finish August with 11.2% and 18.2% of the US market, respectively.

The number of smartphone owners in the US grew by 6% to 116.5mn in the three-month period ended September.

Google-backed Android software remained the most popular smartphone platform with its share of the market growing 1.7% to 52.6%. Apple's share grew by 2.4% to 34.3%, according to comScore.

Share of Canada-based RIM dropped 3.1% to 8.3% while Microsoft and Symbian lost 0.4% each to drop to 3.6% and 0.7%, respectively.

HC in Lagos dismisses application by Bharti Airtel on behalf of Econet Wireless

The High Court in Lagos, Nigeria, has dismissed an application by Bharti Airtel to set aside an award made by an international commercial arbitration tribunal in favour of Econet Wireless. The judgement paves the way for the matter to be referred back to the international tribunal to set the quantum of damages and compensation that Bharti must pay to Econet Wireless. In Court papers, Econet said that it is submitting a claim valued in excess of $3bn.

The international tribunal (comprising senior Nigerian and English lawyers) found multiple breaches of a shareholders' agreement by both the selling shareholders and Celtel Nigeria, now Bharti Airtel Nigeria, ordering them to pay damages/equitable compensation to Econet (in an amount to be determined in a further round of the arbitration). The ruling said that the purchase of a 65% shareholding in Nigeria's second largest cell phone company, by Celtel, was violated the pre-emption rights of existing shareholder, Econet Wireless. Celtel's parent company, Zain of Kuwait later sold the controlling stake to Bharti Airtel, the Indian telecoms operator. The international tribunal's award was handed down in December last year.

In focus Stories

IIFL recommends 'Buy' on Bharti Airtel

IIFL Institutional Equities, a part of the IIFL Group, one of the leading players in the Indian financial services space, recommends “Buy” Bharti Airtel.

According to IIFL Institutional Equities report, Bharti upcoming auctions in India to saddle start-ups with steep spectrum costs and precipitate a shake-out. Scale incumbents such as Bharti will benefit.

Simultaneously tighter KYC norms should help curb churn, and together with a possible lifting of the ban on combo-vouchers, should boost margins. Bharti’s Africa progress has been interrupted by competition in Nigeria, but other markets should deliver, IIFL report stated.

We build in 10% consolidated Ebitda Cagr over FY12-15. We value India/Africa at 6.5x/7.5x Ebitda multiples. BUY with TP Rs305,brokerage added.

The report was published by IIFL’s Institutional Equities Research desk.

Domestic News

Relief for Bharti Airtel...Delhi HC grants stay on govt order

Delhi High Court reportedly granted a stay on a government order asking  Bharti Airtel to stop offering 3G mobile services outside their licensed areas through roaming pacts.

Reports stated that Delhi HC has asked the department of telecommunications (DoT) to not take any coercive action until the next hearing of the case.

Bharti Airtel can continue to offer 3G services in the seven circles-Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Kolkata, Uttar Pradesh East, Gujarat, Kerala and Haryana- where it does not have 3G spectrum.The date for next hearing has not been decided, says report.

RCOM launches ‘All Share Postpaid Plan’

Reliance Communications, India's fully integrated telecommunications service provider, announced the launch of an unique post paid plan ‘All Share Postpaid Plan’ for all (GSM & CDMA) postpaid customers in the country. Reliance introduces a unique ‘One bill’ for the entire family concept where in with a single rental of Rs. 1497/ - for 3 connections, one can share Voice, Data and Text. This is the first of its kind postpaid plan in the country and offers freedom for all postpaid customers from paying multiple bills and recharges throughout the month in a hassle free way.
‘All Share Postpaid Plan’ from Reliance Communications is aimed to acquire high-value customers in the country and plans to target Corporate and SME customer segments along with HNI households. This unique postpaid plan offers upto 10 customers owning multiple devices within the family or group to enjoy free sharing of Voice, Data and SMS on a single bill. Thus, "Share More = Save More" where in every customer can save upto 50% on their postpaid bills every month. Every customer can now avail this plan without the need to change their existing mobile numbers through MNP.
‘All Share Postpaid Plan’ offers a rental of Rs. 1497/ - only for 3 members or 3 connections where in the members can share 3000 mins of Local / STD Voice Calls, 3000 Local / National SMS along with 3GB of 3G Data per month and free calling amongst the family or group members on this plan. Along with this, all the members would also get the benefit of enjoying unlimited free local calls within the group. The number of connections in the family or group can be increased up to 10 at the incremental rental of Rs. 499/- per connection with incremental benefits of 1000 mins of Local / STD voice calls, 1000 Local / National SMS and 1GB of 3G Data.

Bharti Airtel moves court over notice on 3G roaming services: reports

PayMate’s Mobile Kisan Credit Card attracts 7000 Farmers

Research In Motion kick starts BASE 2012 in Kerala

MTS launches "mAd"

Opera Mobile Store shows tremendous growth in India

Global News

Apple CEO Tim Cook says sorry for maps imbroglio

At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.

We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS. As time progressed, we wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up.

There are already more than 100 million iOS devices using the new Apple Maps, with more and more joining us every day. In just over a week, iOS users with the new Maps have already searched for nearly half a billion locations. The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get and we greatly appreciate all of the feedback we have received from you.

While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.

Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world. We know that you expect that from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard.

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO

Motorola Mobility drops patent complaint against Apple

Motorola Mobility, which has been acquired by Google, has dropped a complaint of patent infringement against Apple without explanation.

In a brief filing with the International Trade Commission (ITC) on Monday, Motorola Mobility said that it was dropping without prejudice a complaint that Apple had infringed on seven Motorola patents.

Google and Apple have been locked in an international patent war since 2010.

Google said in its filing, however, that there are no agreements between Motorola and Apple, written or oral, express or implied, concerning the subject matter of this investigation.

The complaint can be re-submitted.It may be recalled that on August 24, a jury in a California federal court ordered Samsung to pay US$1.05bn in damages after finding that the South Korean company had copied critical features of the iPhone and iPad.

Deutsche Telekom confirms MetroPCS deal: reports

T-Mobile's parent company, Deutsche Telekom, has reportedly signed an agreement to "combine" T-Mobile and MetroPCS

Reports said that this transaction will create the leading value carrier in the U.S. wireless marketplace, which will deliver an enhanced customer experience through a wider selection of affordable products and services, Deutsche Telekom reported.

Under the deal, MetroPCS will make a cash payment of $1.5 billion to its shareholders for a 26% ownership in the combined company.

China's Huawei reportedly in talks to list in US: reports

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