Wall Street Journal
VERIZON RETHINKS PRICING
Verizon is exploring ways to charge consumers based on wireless connection speed and data use. While U.S. operators in general are exploring pricing options for downloading limits, Verizon is considering providing faster data transfer rates at premium prices, writes WSJ. The operator’s new LTE network can deliver between one and 12 Mbps, which opens up the option of a multi-tiered pricing structure.
BANKS LAUNCH RECORD EURO-DENOMINATED ‘JUNK’ BOND
The Italian telecom operator Wind plans to sell bonds valued at EUR2.5 billion as part of a broader EUR6.6 billion refinancing that will include USD1 billion of bonds in dollars. FT writes that the deal – the largest-ever euro-dominated high yield or “junk” bond deal – signifies the development of the European market as companies explore funding schemes beyond traditional bank lending.
LEBANON NOT UP TO TELECOM SPEED
Both of Lebanon’s mobile operators, Alfa and MTC Touch, are state-run and charge some of the region’s highest rates for what many consider to be underdeveloped services. Since becoming one of the first Arab countries to introduce Internet and mobile phone services in the mid-1990s, the country’s telecom and IT sector have become more monopolized, despite liberalization efforts. A 2010 survey of connectivity in the Arab world by the Arab Advisors Group ranked Lebanon below the regional average.
Wall Street Journal
CHINESE FIRM ‘HIJACKED' DATA
According to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, China Telecom unnecessarily rerouted traffic sent to approximately fifteen percent of Internet destinations, including branches of the U.S. armed services, the U.S. Senate and companies such as Microsoft, through servers in China. The incident occurred on April 8 and lasted 18 minutes. China Telecom said it denies “any hijack of Internet traffic”. The commission was unable to determine if the rerouting was done maliciously but said the scope of the incident indicates a certain degree of state support.
APPS PAVE WAY FOR CITY SERVICES IN BAY AREA
WSJ writes that California cities in the Bay Area are leading the way with apps that provide access to government data and services online. There are apps for city-registered trees, public parks and street-cleaning machines in San Francisco, and San Jose offers one allowing residents to bring potholes, graffiti and other issues to the attention of city workers.
ERICSSON IPX TO BECOME NFC TRUSTED SERVICES MANAGER
Ericsson IPX has said that it wants to become a Trusted Service Manager (TSM) for mobile NFC payments. Mattias Johansson, Product Manager, Ericsson IPX, said, "We will launch a TSM brokering service in Europe in 2011. We have some pilots that we are working with in different markets, and service providers are building proof of concept, but technically we are ready to go." Johansson said that Ericsson IPX, which already acts as a SMS, MMS and Online Payments provider, is in an ideal position to become a TSM in the NFC payments market - when it goes commercial. So far, most of the players who are providing TSM services have come from the smartcard community or from the payment processing market. Johansson said that he thinks that Ericsson IPX is the first IPX provider to state that it will enter the NFC TSM market. "We are looking at expanding our family of brokering services, and we see 2011 being the year for NFC launches in Europe," he said.