Asia Watch: Money Talks...

With financial reports starting to hit the wires, there's plenty of cash chat in the Asia/Pacific market just now, but there's also news of Long Term Evolution (LTE) in Singapore, a new apps store and an IPTV partnership in China, and a transport network rollout in Australia.

  • India's mobile operators have been feeling a tight squeeze in the ARPU (average revenue per user) department in recent months, if the latest earnings reports from Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL) and Idea Cellular Ltd. are anything to go by. (See Indian Operators Battle Brutal Market.)

    But other Indian firms are revealing their latest numbers, too, including services and software player Wipro Ltd. (NYSE: WIT). A few details from its report for the three months that end in December (fiscal Q3) caught our eye: 26.1 percent of its $1.13 billion revenues came from the Technology, Media and Telecom sector; and, the majority (57.1 percent) of its total revenues came from customers in the U.S., while only 8.9 percent was derived from its India and Middle East regional business. (See Wipro Reports Q3.)

  • Also in India, Aksh Optifibre Ltd. , which makes comms cables but also acts as a wholesale supplier of IPTV services to state-owned operators Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd. (MTNL) , looks set to invest up to 1.5 billion Indian rupees (US$32 million) to hook up tens of thousands of homes with fiber access connections, reports The Economic Times.

    The idea is to help boost the uptake of triple-play services and stimulate demand for IPTV, which has had a slow start in India, as Aksh's managing director K.S. Choudhari mentioned in this interview with Light Reading last year.

  • China's telecom services market grew more than 14 percent in 2009, to 2.57 trillion yuan renminbi (US$376.4 billion), according to the latest set of figures released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), reports ChinaTechNews.

  • Also in China, Orange (NYSE: FTE) has teamed up with one of the country's IPTV license holders, Shanghai Media Group (SMG) 's BesTV , to research new video service technologies. (See Orange, BesTV Team Up and Interview: BesTV's Ian Chin.)

    The French carrier will also broadcast coverage of the Shanghai World Expo 2010, taking its content from BesTV. (See Orange, BesTV Team Up.)

  • In Singapore, MobileOne Ltd. (M1) (Singapore: MONE) is to trial LTE services with the help of Nokia Networks , and has set itself a target of reducing its carbon emissions by 35 percent within the next year or so by deploying the vendor's latest radio access network (RAN) gear. (See M1 Trials LTE With NSN.)

  • Back in China, Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) has opened up an apps store, dubbed SHOP4APPS, for Android handset users, and is enabling those users to choose which search engine they use on their handsets. For example, they can choose to use Baidu, instead of, say, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG). I can't think why, though... (See Moto Opens Apps Store in China and Google's China Beef Spreads to Android .)

    Apps stores are all the rage in China, with other vendors and some of the carrier having already opened their virtual storefronts. (See Nokia Teams Up for Chinese Apps Push and China 3G Update: App Stores & iPhones.)

  • Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) has landed a deal to provide managed services and transport gear, including its 1626 Light Manager and 1830 DWDM switch to Nextgen Networks Inc. , which is building a 6,000-kilometer regional transport backbone in Australia to support the country's National Broadband Network (NBN) initiative. (See AlcaLu Wins Oz Optical Deal, Nextgen Lands NBN Deal, Quigley Named NBN Chief, and Australia Unveils $31B FTTP Plan.)

    Other news of interest from the Asia/Pacific includes:

    — Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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