UAE lifts suspension on BlackBerry services

UAE lifts suspension on BlackBerry services
(Telecompaper) The UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said a planned ban on BlackBerry services that had been due to come into effect on 11 October will not go ahead. In a statement, the regulator confirmed that Blackberry services are now compliant with the region’s telecommunications regulatory framework. Therefore it confirmed that all Blackberry services in the UAE will continue to operate as normal and no suspension of service will occur on 11 October. The TRA acknowledged the positive engagement and collaboration of Research In Motion (RIM) in reaching this regulatory compliant outcome. The UAE said in late August that from 11 October it would block BlackBerry messenger, web browsing and e-mail services due to security concerns and inability to monitor the communications. Since the TRA announced it was planning the ban, the market for BlackBerry handsets has come to a standstill in the Gulf state, where there are some 500,000 BlackBerry users.[Lees verder]

Megafon acquires Metrocom for RUB 2 bln
(Telecompaper) Russian mobile operator Megafon announced an agreement to acquire Russian regional operator Metrocom. The operator will pay roughly RUB 2 billion for 100 percent of Metrocom, acquiring a 55 percent stake from the St Petersburg municipality and a 45 percent stake from Russian company MST. Megafon will fund the deal with internal cash, after winning the auction for Metrocom at the starting price. Metrocom owns a 1,500km fibre-optic network in St. Petersburg.[Lees verder]

Microsoft, Adobe discuss Apple strategy – report
(Telecompaper) A possible Microsoft acquisition of Adobe Systems was among ideas for closer co-operation raised informally at a recent meeting between the chief executives of the two companies, a person familiar with the talks told the Financial Times. The suggestion arose from a broader discussion about whether the two companies should ally against Apple. Two people familiar with the meeting between Steve Ballmer of Microsoft and Shantanu Narayen of Adobe played down the prospect that the informal takeover suggestion would lead to a deal between the two companies. One said that it had not led to any active takeover discussions, while the other added that no deal was “imminent”. Both characterised the discussion as part of a regular series of meetings to consider a range of possible areas of co-operation.[Lees verder]

Sprint launches Sprint ID for personalising Android phones
(Telecompaper) US operator Sprint has launched Sprint ID on three new smartphones, allowing users to customise their Android device with an ID pack that includes applications, widgets, ringtones and wallpapers. Sprint has teamed up with brands including Amazon, Blackboard, Comcast, Disney, E!, Electronic Arts, eBay, ESPN, HSN, LatCel, MTV, Notre Dame, Oprah Winfrey Network, RadioShack, Weather Channel, Where and Yahoo! for this feature. Sprint customers can customise their device with up to five ID packs. Once an ID is loaded, users can further customise it with additional applications and content. ID packs can be switched out without losing the applications and content. Sprint ID packs will launch on three Android handsets including the Sanyo Zio, Samsung Transform and LG Optimus S. A range of lifestyle packs, Yahoo!, game packs from Electronic Arts and business packs will be immediately available, with more packs rolling out in this quarter and beyond. Sprint ID comes in Consumer, Business, Wholesale, Education and Hispanic packs. In addition to name-brand packs, non-branded pack examples include Entertainment, Socially Connected, Health and Fitness, Business Productivity, Fashion and Beauty, Auto Enthusiast and Golf Enthusiast.[Lees verder]

Final draft of ACTA released
(Telecompaper) The US government has released the latest draft of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which is expected to go forward as the final treaty with only minor adjustments. Countries that participated in the three-year negotiation of the treaty are Australia, Canada, the European Union and the EU member states, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the US. The treaty sets up a framework for international cooperation on combatting counterfeiting, for both physical goods and online copyright infringement, laying down requirements for information sharing, national laws and regulations and enforcement. While the treaty has attracted considerable criticism for a lack of transparency and public consultation in the negotiations, the final version appears to have watered down some of the tougher clauses affecting internet services providers, which could have increased their liablility for transmitting or hosting illegal content. The latest version also allows for exceptions to laws that make cracking copyright protection technology illegal.[Lees verder]

UAE lifts suspension on BlackBerry services
(Telecompaper) The UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said a planned ban on BlackBerry services that had been due to come into effect on 11 October will not go ahead. In a statement, the regulator confirmed that Blackberry services are now compliant with the region’s telecommunications regulatory framework. Therefore it confirmed that all Blackberry services in the UAE will continue to operate as normal and no suspension of service will occur on 11 October. The TRA acknowledged the positive engagement and collaboration of Research In Motion (RIM) in reaching this regulatory compliant outcome. The UAE said in late August that from 11 October it would block BlackBerry messenger, web browsing and e-mail services due to security concerns and inability to monitor the communications. Since the TRA announced it was planning the ban, the market for BlackBerry handsets has come to a standstill in the Gulf state, where there are some 500,000 BlackBerry users.[Lees verder]

Megafon acquires Metrocom for RUB 2 bln
(Telecompaper) Russian mobile operator Megafon announced an agreement to acquire Russian regional operator Metrocom. The operator will pay roughly RUB 2 billion for 100 percent of Metrocom, acquiring a 55 percent stake from the St Petersburg municipality and a 45 percent stake from Russian company MST. Megafon will fund the deal with internal cash, after winning the auction for Metrocom at the starting price. Metrocom owns a 1,500km fibre-optic network in St. Petersburg.[Lees verder]

Microsoft, Adobe discuss Apple strategy – report
(Telecompaper) A possible Microsoft acquisition of Adobe Systems was among ideas for closer co-operation raised informally at a recent meeting between the chief executives of the two companies, a person familiar with the talks told the Financial Times. The suggestion arose from a broader discussion about whether the two companies should ally against Apple. Two people familiar with the meeting between Steve Ballmer of Microsoft and Shantanu Narayen of Adobe played down the prospect that the informal takeover suggestion would lead to a deal between the two companies. One said that it had not led to any active takeover discussions, while the other added that no deal was “imminent”. Both characterised the discussion as part of a regular series of meetings to consider a range of possible areas of co-operation.[Lees verder]

Sprint launches Sprint ID for personalising Android phones
(Telecompaper) US operator Sprint has launched Sprint ID on three new smartphones, allowing users to customise their Android device with an ID pack that includes applications, widgets, ringtones and wallpapers. Sprint has teamed up with brands including Amazon, Blackboard, Comcast, Disney, E!, Electronic Arts, eBay, ESPN, HSN, LatCel, MTV, Notre Dame, Oprah Winfrey Network, RadioShack, Weather Channel, Where and Yahoo! for this feature. Sprint customers can customise their device with up to five ID packs. Once an ID is loaded, users can further customise it with additional applications and content. ID packs can be switched out without losing the applications and content. Sprint ID packs will launch on three Android handsets including the Sanyo Zio, Samsung Transform and LG Optimus S. A range of lifestyle packs, Yahoo!, game packs from Electronic Arts and business packs will be immediately available, with more packs rolling out in this quarter and beyond. Sprint ID comes in Consumer, Business, Wholesale, Education and Hispanic packs. In addition to name-brand packs, non-branded pack examples include Entertainment, Socially Connected, Health and Fitness, Business Productivity, Fashion and Beauty, Auto Enthusiast and Golf Enthusiast.[Lees verder]

Final draft of ACTA released
(Telecompaper) The US government has released the latest draft of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which is expected to go forward as the final treaty with only minor adjustments. Countries that participated in the three-year negotiation of the treaty are Australia, Canada, the European Union and the EU member states, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the US. The treaty sets up a framework for international cooperation on combatting counterfeiting, for both physical goods and online copyright infringement, laying down requirements for information sharing, national laws and regulations and enforcement. While the treaty has attracted considerable criticism for a lack of transparency and public consultation in the negotiations, the final version appears to have watered down some of the tougher clauses affecting internet services providers, which could have increased their liablility for transmitting or hosting illegal content. The latest version also allows for exceptions to laws that make cracking copyright protection technology illegal.[Lees verder]