Ring! Ring! Hot News, 19th November

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In Thiis Edition: Vodafone's first data billion, investment plans in China, Romanian call centres, Expansys'n'Truphone, China Mobile switches off Everest, India joins Google in the WiMAX queue, a contest for rural mobile apps, Sarin vs the iPhone, and just how difficult is it to develop for the thing? Plus, of course, Telco 2.0's favourite blog posts this week.

Telco 2.0 Strategy

Vodafone makes a billion from data

Telco 2.0 Comment: Possibly the first operator to break a billion sterling from data traffic? It's where the disrupters are, after all. More importantly, note that Voda had to shift 19 per cent more minutes of use to gain a 2 per cent uplift in revenue.

In other Vodafone news, Arun Sarin wants to buy China.

Telco 2.0 Comment: Or will China buy Vodafone? Snark aside, one thing Vodafone certainly has learned is that emerging markets investments are great fun; you have to wonder whether dealing with the Ministry of the Information Industry will be quite so easy.

Call-centre company comes to Cluj.

Telco 2.0 Comment: A German call-centre outsourcing company expands in Romania. What will that do for the local market for telecoms? Remember, the biggest market is...the market for everything else.

Technology Disruptions

New customer for Truphone.

Telco 2.0 Comment: A major field where development is needed is that of reducing the activation energy the user has to find to start doing new things; Truphone and Expansys are pushing at just this point.

Now that's what we call low ARPU.

Telco 2.0 Comment: China Mobile's base station with line-of-sight to Mount Everest has been switched off for the winter - not enough traffic, apparently. It's a pity we can't do that with MMS.

Broadband Connectivity

BSNL in monster WiMAX tender.

Telco 2.0 Comment: India's state carrier BSNL is after a billion dollars' worth of WiMAX kit, with a view to building some 70 urban networks and then a big rural-access operation. They also want to deploy "WiMAX kiosks" to get basic computing and connectivity into the villages, as well as linking up schools. The whole thing has some similarities to our own work in emerging markets. Addressing the 'bottom of the pyramid' requires more than just low-cost facsimiles of developed market products.

GoogleMax still on the cards?

Telco 2.0 Comment: Google likes some WiMAX too...and the Clearwire/Sprint fut could mean an opportunity. See this post for more on the reasons.

Digital Product Innovation

India's contest for rural mobile apps

Telco 2.0 Comment: This looks interesting; very interesting. More here.

The Nokia N95 launches in the US: and Arun Sarin bashes the iPhone

Telco 2.0 Comment: You wait 'til you try programming it...

Telco 2.0 Recommends

A video review of the N95 (US model):

Some outstanding blogs: Tim O'Reilly blasts OpenSocial; your new source for dodgy DRM-free movies; QoS gets trashed; TechCrunch UK reports on the app that does for your inbox what the NSA already did to your CDRs.