Nytex

In Brief:Amazon puts additional USD 3 bln into Indian business 

Amazon.com wants to put an additional USD 3 billion into developing its India operations. The latest commitment, unveiled by CEO at the US-India Business Council’s Leadership Summit in Washington, more than doubles Amazon’s total pledged investment since 2014 to USD 5 billion. Amazon has targeted India for international growth after pulling back from China due to fierce competition from Alibaba. In addition to seeking new customers, Amazon is also looking in India for new inventory to sell globally.

***Yahoo has put over 3000 patents in the shop window as it looks into ways of monetizing its intellectual property. The company wants to sell patents and patents pending held by its Excalibur unit that include search, advertising and cloud-based technology. There is no reserve price or guidance.The company said earlier this year that it would review the disposal of non-strategic assets, including patent and real estate holdings. At the time, it said proceeds could range from USD 1 billion to 3 billion.

***The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has responded to criticism from the country’s largest mobile operator, Econet Wireless, that it is not treating all operators equally. Econet’s Chief Executive Officer has been quoted by local news portal TechZim as saying that there is an ‘uneven playing field when it comes to competition in the Zimbabwean telecoms industry’, going on to highlight the fact that some operators have not renewed their licences. But POTRAZ has hit back by saying that all four of the country’s mobile licensees – Econet, NetOne, Telecel and TelOne – are operating under valid concessions. It says that while Econet and Telecel have renewed their permits, NetOne and TelOne are still using old licences which are not yet due for renewal. Econet is the only fully independent cellco in Zimbabwe, with the other three wholly or partially owned by the state.

***Vietnamese-owned cellco Bitel has set a target of achieving a market share of 10% within the next one to two years, and is planning to spend around USD200 million on infrastructure development by early 2017 to help meet that goal. In an interview with El Comercio, the newcomer’s general manager, Tao Duc Thang explained that a large section of the population in the interior still do not have access to mobile telephony or internet and that Bitel would expand by meeting the needs of these unserved Peruvians. Regarding the recent 700MHz spectrum auction, the official noted that it did not bid aggressively for the airwaves – which were ultimately awarded to the trio of incumbents – as it felt it could more efficiently use the funds elsewhere. By saving on the spectrum auction, the operator claims it is now able to use the funds to install up to 1,000 new antennas and expand its fibre-optic network, which currently spans more than 20,000km.

***Haitian telecom regulator Conseil National des Telecommunications (Conatel) is currently working on establishing the terms and conditions for auctioning 4G spectrum. Local operator National Telecom (Natcom) has been authorised to trial the technology but the regulator confirmed that no business has yet been granted a concession for the operation and marketing of 4G LTE mobile phone services in the country. Haiti's two other major operators are Digicel and Haitel.

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