While the European and North American markets continue to slumber for the festive period, there's plenty of action in Asia/Pacific, with acquisition activity in the mobile operator and applications markets, and a new TV service launch in China.
India's Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL) is closing in on a majority stake in mobile operator Warid Bangladesh in an acquisition valued at $300 million, according to local reports.
KT Corp. is buying a 25 percent stake in Omnitel China, which provides content and applications to China's mobile operators, according to The Korea Times.
The Indian mobile market is notorious for its delays, of course. There is still much speculation about the exact timing of the proposed auction of 3G and wireless broadband spectrum, which could take place at any time from late January onward, it seems. The introduction of mobile number portability, which was due to be implemented from the beginning of 2010, has been delayed by the Department of Telecommunications until March 31, reports The Economic Times.
China Central Television (CCTV), one of China's IPTV license holders, has officially launched its online TV service, CNTV, which it hopes will have an impact not only in its domestic market but overseas too, according to ChinaTechNews. (See China Set for IPTV Explosion.)
The over-the-top service, which has been in pilot operation since late 2008, is designed to provide a selection of linear TV and on-demand content to users via fixed broadband and mobile connections. CCTV is one of seven companies to hold licenses for mobile TV in China. (See ChinaVision to Offer Mobile TV and Envivio Scores China Win.)
City Telecom (HK) Ltd. has applied for Hong Kong's third domestic free TV-broadcast license with the intention of supplementing its pay-IPTV service with free channels.
City will use the existing fixed fiber network of its wholly owned subsidiary Hong Kong Broadband Network Ltd. (HKBN) to deliver the additional service, and believes it can break even once it has invested HK$210 million (US$27.1 million) launching and delivering its broadband TV offering.