China will soon start tests of its own 3G technology, government-linked sources in the country reported today. Completion of the tests is seen within the industry as a prerequisite for the start of 3G services in China.
A Chinese mobile service provider also plans to test the nation's home-grown TD-SCDMA technology in the semi-autonomous Chinese city of Hong Kong.
However, with stronger intellectual property rights protection than mainland China, Hong Kong is a potential battleground for challenges to China's TD-SCDMA from foreign CDMA patent holders like Qualcomm.
Recent reports confirm that Qualcomm is aleady issuing licences and accepting royalty payments for TD-SCDMA implementations elsewhere.
"If TD-SCDMA is commercially deployed, licences to Qualcomm patents will be required since our patents are essential to the TD-SCDMA standard," Qualcomm president, Steve Altman, warned in an analyst meeting last year.
Separately from the proposed Hong Kong test, three cities around China have been chosen as locations for test networks by the government, said a report from the semi-official Xinhua News Agency, citing unidentified sources close to the Ministry of Information Industry.
Some local service providers have expressed reluctance to use the locally developed standard, saying they prefer the older foreign-developed W-CDMA and CDMA2000 technologies.
Sony has suffered a serious setback in its battle for control of the technology behind 'force-feedback' that is used in its games consoles.
A US judge threw out Sony's appeal against a $90m patent verdict in a suit filed by Immersion Corp against the Japan-based electronics giant.
In a series of legal actions first filed in 2002, Immersion has claimed that Sony infringed its patents for haptic, or force-feedback, technology used in handheld controllers for Sony's PlayStation consoles.
Sony settled a similar case with Microsoft related to the Xbox game console in 2003.
The judge described Sony's star witness as "unreliable", according to the Wall Street Journal, and sided with Immersion's claims that he had been influenced by a $150,000 business deal with Sony.
Malaysia's leading telecoms company, Telekom Malaysia, will pay $178m for a substantial stake in a regional Indian mobile phone service operator, the company announced at the weekend.
Government-owned Telekom Malaysia will hold 49 per cent of family-controlled mobile company Spice Communications.
Foreign service providers and manufacturers are looking to the Indian market for expansion as more mature markets become saturated. Only about 10 per cent of India's population have a mobile phone.
"India will become the second-largest mobile handset market globally by 2010, after China," Nokia chief executive Jorma Ollila said at the opening of the firm's first handset factory in India on Saturday.
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