AME Info, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, telecommunications briefs [AME Info, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates]
(AME Info (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) March 04--BLACKBERRY 10 USERS SET TO RECEIVE FIRST UPDATE: Canadian handset maker BlackBerry has announced its first update to the new operating system, BlackBerry 10, Cnet has reported. The update, which will be delivered over the air, improves the performance of third-party applications, ensuring that they run a bit faster and smoother. In addition, it addresses some problems users are finding with Gmail calendar support and importing contacts from online sources, the company said.
ETISALAT TO ROLL OUT MOBILE PAYMENT SERVICES IN H1 2013: UAE telecoms operator Etisalat has announced it is set to launch mobile wallet services in the country for a variety of payments and transactions, Gulf News has reported. Set for launch during the first half of this year, the new service will provide customers with services including domestic and international money transfers, bank account management and purchase of tickets for transport. "We are waiting for approval from the UAE Central Bank to launch mobile wallet and hope to start this in the UAE in April," CEO of Etisalat UAE, Saleh Abdullah Al Abdouli, told the daily.
JUDGE SAYS JURY MISCALCULATED APPLE'S AWARD: A US federal judge has reduced by more than 40 percent a $1.05bn awarded last year to Apple in its legal battle dispute with Samsung, and set a new trial to determine damages, Reuters has reported. Judge Lucy Koh said the jury had incorrectly calculated part of the damages and that a new trial was needed to determine the actual, final dollar amount. "We are pleased that the court decided to strike $450,514,650 from the jury's award," the South Korean giant said. "Samsung intends to seek further review as to the remaining award."
GOOGLE DENIES STRAINED TIES WITH SAMSUNG : Google Inc.'s chief financial officer Patrick Pichette has played down reports that its relationship with Samsung was becoming strained, Cnet has reported. Last week, the Wall Street Journal said that Google was worried about Samsung's dominance. "We have a terrific relationship with Samsung. They've been very successful with the Android platform. They benefited just like the rest of the ecosystem," said Pichette.
DU, ETISALAT IN TALKS WITH UAE GOVERNMENT OVER ROYALTY PAYMENTS: UAE telecoms operators Etisalat and Du are in talks with finance ministry over the details of their royalty payments, as the two firms seeks to save billions of dirhams in fees to the government, Zawya Dow Jones has reported. The two companies are discussing the types of revenues that would come under the new royalty scheme introduced on their net profits and revenues in December last year. "They are debating what further could be reduced," said Nishit Lakhotia, analyst at Bahrain's Sico.
LEBANON EXTENDS MOBILE OPERATORS CONTRACTS: The Lebanon cabinet has decided to extend the contracts with mobile operators Alfa and Touch until the end of June and authorised the telecoms minister to prepare for a new tender, The Daily Star has reported. The bidding process will be open to international telecoms firms in addition to the two existing mobile operator, the cabinet said. The telecoms sector generates more than $1.6bn in revenues each year, $1.4bn of which goes to the treasury to reduce the budget deficit.
OOREDOO TO PRESS AHEAD WITH MAROC TELECOM STAKE PLAN: The chief executive of the recently-rebranded Qtel, Ooredoo has said the company is studying Maroc Telecom's financials as it considers buying Vivendi's 53 percent stake in the carrier, Bloomberg has reported. The Arab world's second-biggest phone company by sales is one of several companies interested in the stake and expects no difficulty financing a deal, said CEO Nasser Marafih. "The company has the capacity to finance it," said Marafih. "We need to figure out what it's worth, not only in the short term but also in the longer term." Paris-based Vivendi has also received interest for Maroc Telecom from Etisalat.
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