Optus revenue dragged down by lower mobile call, SMS rates

AustraliaIT News — A mandated industry-wide reduction in mobile call and SMS termination rates forced revenues of Optus and parent SingTel down as much as 9 percent in the last quarter, with the bottom-line impact expected to grow fourfold next year.


‘Among first three guests of Airbnb, one was an Indian’

IndiaTimes of India — What started as two friends accommodating guests on air mattresses and providing homemade breakfast has turned into a profitable business, valued at around $25 billion, spread across 191 countries. Airbnb (Airbedandbreakfast) is eyeing India as one of its fastest growing markets. It is also talking to companies here to launch its business travel model.


Slow start to Indonesia’s govt-sanctioned OTT drive

IndonesiaDigital News Asia — A NATIONAL plan by the Government and telecommunications operators in Indonesia to stave off a ‘foreign invasion’ by actively encouraging local over-the-top (OTT) apps has got off to a slow start, with the three apps having been approved only after three months. Last December, the Association of Telecommunication Operators (ATSI) invited local startups to register their OTT services, after which three such services would be identified and earmarked for support by the association.


Trai may issue fresh paper on WhatsApp, Skype: Report

IndiaTimes of India — Telecom Regulatory Authourity of India is reportedly planning to issue a fresh paper on WhatsApp and Skype. According to a report in business daily Business Standard (BS), “Trai is contemplating issuing a fresh consultation paper for regulation of over-the-top (OTT) messaging services like WhatsApp and Skype in accordance with recently announced net neutrality principles.”


Uber rolls out two-wheeler taxis in Bangkok

ThailandThe States Man — Uber offered its first motorbike taxi service on Wednesday, launching a pilot scheme in Bangkok which could spread across Asia as it takes on chief regional rival Grab Taxi. Motorbikes have long been a popular commuting option in the Thai capital, which faced horrendous traffic jams due to increased car ownership and poor city planning. Ubiquitous motorbike taxi drivers, found at stands across the city wearing bright orange jackets, weave in and out of stalled traffic with both skill and knuckle-whitening speed.


Uber opens Center of Excellence in Hyderabad

IndiaTimes of India — HYDERABAD: Taxi aggregator Uber ha opened its Center of Excellence (CoE) here which will house over 500 customer care executives. The first-of-its-kind facility in Asia is part of an agreement the company signed with the Telangana government in July 2015 to invest $50 million in the state, Uber said in a statement. The CoE, which was inaugurated by state IT minister KT Rama Rao, is expected to generate 500 jobs by the end of 2017.


SoftBank taps Brocade on new IP network

JapanTelecom Asia — Japanese telecoms operator Softbank is streamlining its data center operations by deploying Brocade VDX switches in its group-wide common service infrastructure network. Softbank said the new infrastructure will greatly reduce complexity and the cost of network operations within its data centers, giving the company greater agility to pursue new growth opportunities in OTT services.


Samsung, Teleste unveil all-in-one IPTV for hospitality sector

APACTelecom Asia — Teleste, a provider of broadband video and data communication systems and services, has partnered with Samsung Electronics to launch a new solution for more efficient IP service delivery across hospitality environments.


Samsung continues to go all out digital with latest gadgets, TVs, IoT products

KoreaInter Aksyon — KUALA LUMPUR — In its continuing effort to go all-out digital, Samsung Electronics unveiled the company’s latest mobile gadgets and digital appliance product line-up at the annual Samsung Southeast Asia Forum held in the Malaysian capital’s KL Convention Center.


2016: Smart OTT is the new normal

APACMIS Asia — Living in an on-demand world, a simple swipe of one’s mobile phone or a few clicks of the mouse can now bring consumers a plethora of content and applications. Direct to Home (DTH), IPTV and Over-the-Top (OTT) services are projected to grow in the next five years on the back of government support in infrastructure development including fibre roll-outs fueled by increased consumer demand across the Asia Pacific.


Huawei Helps MSOs Accelerate Video and Broadband Service Opportunities

China.gifPRNewswire — NEW ORLEANS: At SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2015, Huawei announced a suite of solutions designed to help global Multi-Service Operators (MSOs) strengthen their competitiveness in the digital era. To address the rapid proliferation of connected devices and competition from fast-moving over-the-top players (OTTs) and traditional telcos, Huawei advocates a two-pronged strategy for MSOs:  provide high-quality multi-screen services to accelerate video business opportunities; and enhance broadband services to ensure a superior user experience.


Optus set to be first with voice over wi-fi

AustraliaIT News — Optus is set to take the lead as the first Australian carrier to deliver a commercial voice over wi-fi service to its consumers. The carrier has committed to launch a voice over wi-fi service within weeks. “Optus is always looking at ways to enhance our customer experience and we’re currently working on exciting developments for wi-fi calling which we expect to announce mid-2015,” an Optus spokesman said.


Microsoft rolls out Skype for Business in Malaysia

MalaysiaMICROSOFT Malaysia has launched the new Skype for Business, saying the communications and collaboration tool will help businesses reinvent the way people communicate in the modern workplace. Skype for Business features include instant messaging, voice, video calls, online meetings and even presence – knowing when your contact is available to chat or not, the company said in a statement.


Viettel enters OTT market with new app

VietnamAfter three months of being developed and tested (from last December) with approximately 30,000 subscribers, Viettel has officially launched Mocha Messenger app with many features introduced to be exclusive. In addition to sending text messages, voice messages and pictures, this application also supplies music, which Viettel confirmed to be the only feature on OTT apps in Vietnam and the world. However, Mocha Messenger does not have calling features like its rivals as Zalo, Viber, WhatsApp, Skype …


PrimeTime Entertainment Launches in Thailand, Selects Brightcove’s Zencoder to Power Multi-screen Video and On-demand Content

ThailandBrightcove Inc. (NASDAQ: BCOV), a leading global provider of cloud services for video, today announced that PrimeTime Entertainment, Thailand’s newest on-demand streaming service, has partnered with Brightcove to power transcoding for its over-the-top (OTT) entertainment channel. With Brightcove’s Zencoder cloud-based encoding service, PrimeTime is able to rapidly deliver high-quality video on-demand (VOD) content to satisfy audiences across platforms and devices.


Hike Messenger adds free voice calling

IndiaA few weeks after the acquisition of US-based voice-calling company Zip Phone, India’s Hike today announced its free voice calling feature that works over 2G, 3G, or wifi. Hike’s voice calling is now in beta on the Android version of the app; it’ll arrive on iOS and Windows phones by the end of this quarter.  With the slow mobile internet in India and a small percentage of mobile users accessing 3G and 4G, Hike aims to please the mass market with the app’s low bandwidth consumption.


VinaPhone launches OTT service V

VietTalk is the third OTT (over-the-top) service provided by a Vietnamese enterprise after Zalo of VNG and Btalk of Bkav. It works like other OTT services in terms of calling, texting, voice and multimedia messages and group chat. Like other OTT apps, VietTalk can be installed in all smartphones connecting to mobile phone networks in the country. VietTalk users will have to pay for the service while users of other OTT apps do not pay for the app service but are still subject to 3G or GPRS charges.


Rage against Airtel spills onto social networking sites

BENGALURU: Bharti Airtel was at the receiving end of a brutal backlash on the Internet after it decided to impose special tariff for voice calls made over services like Skype or Viber.  The telecom operator’s decision to charge more for voice services that run using data is being vehemently opposed by consumers, many of whom took to the Internet to vent their anger.


Indian telco wants users to pay extra for using Skype, Viber

The Indian Government will look into Airtel’s plan to charge separately for VoIP (voice calls over Internet) services offered by apps like Skype, Viber, and Line. According to a statement on the website of the Indian telecom giant, “All internet/data packs or plans (through which customer can avail discounted rate) shall only be valid for internet browsing and will exclude VoIP (both incoming/ outgoing). VoIP over data connectivity would be charged at standard data rates of 4p/10 KB (3G service) and 10p/10 KB (2G service)”.


Foreign OTT-service providers find it tough to enter market

Quy Nguyen is a Vietnamese, but he usually travels between Hanoi and Guangzhou, China, for business. When he is in Vietnam, he can contact his Chinese partners in Guangzhou with WeChat. “WeChat is the only OTT app Guangzhou people can use,” he explained. Nguyen said due to Chinese characters, it always takes a lot of time to write text messages. Therefore, to communicate with Chinese partners, he would rather make calls or send voice messages.


Will Zalo rescue the Vietnamese OTT market?

Zalo, a 100 percent Vietnamese OTT app, has 20 million users, a surprising figure to many people. In the eyes of Vietnamese, locally made products are often seen as having an inferior quality to foreign products. However, the “principle” is not true in the case of Zalo. The OTT market had a great war in 2012-2013, with some players dislodged from the market. These included Wala, a young player which could not survive the stiff competition.


Ministry protects OTT services, from Vietnam

Impacted by sharp falls in revenues, local mobile carriers are reportedly trying to block OTT services, which allow users to make free phone calls and send free text messages. In reality, users have found the quality of OTT services is declining. The ministry is collecting suggestions for a draft circular managing Internet-based call and texting services. The draft stipulates that telecom firms are disallowed to bar OTT services in Vietnam.


OTT apps to thrive when Vietnam deploys 4G

Mobile network operators and OTT app developers have finally found a way to co-exist. According to Harald Preiss, a senior executive of Nokia Networks, in the countries which have been utilizing 4G technology like Japan, mobile network operators now provide free voice call and SMS service as a part of the monthly data package service, and they only charge fees for data services. As such, when customers use OTT services, mobile network operators can earn money, while users will be more satisfied because they can use high-quality services.


Mobile network operators try to develop OTT apps of their own

BKAV, known in Vietnam as the leading Internet security firm, has officially joined the OTT market with its launch of Btalk, an app that allows users to make calls and send messages free of charge. The quality of Btalk is still uncertain. However, Nguyen Tu Hoang, Vice President of BKAV, said Btalk’s mission is to replace Viber, a very popular app among Vietnamese at present. Hoang hopes to make Btalk succeed in Vietnam, and then reach out to the world. Viber reportedly has 10 million users in Vietnam.