(AME Info (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 04--MOBILE NUMBER PORTABILITY NOW AVAILABLE IN QATAR: Qatar's telecoms regulator ictQatar has announced that Mobile Number Portability (MNP) is now available in the Gulf country, the Peninsula has reported. This service will be available in all retail outlets of the two service providers in Qatar, Qtel and Vodafone, in a 'phased rollout,' ictQatar said. MNP allows consumers to retain their existing mobile phone numbers when switching to a different service provider. "It allows consumers to choose more freely the service provider that best meets their needs without having to sacrifice their existing number," said deputy assistant secretary general of ictQatar, Saleh Al Kuwari.
APPLE BECAME US' BIGGEST MOBILE PHONE VENDOR: IT research firm Strategy Analytics has said Apple has become the biggest mobile phone vendor by volume in the US for the first time ever, due to its popular iPhones and the App Store, generous carrier subsidies and extensive marketing of the new iPhone 5 model. Apple shipped 17.7 million mobile phones for a record 34 percent market share of the US market in the fourth quarter of 2012, up sharply from 12.8 million units shipped and 25 percent share in the fourth quarter of 2011, the research firm said. Apple's worldwide smartphone shipments in last year's fourth quarter reached 47.8 million units, up 29 percent from the same period in 2011, it said.
MTN CLEARED OF IRAN LICENCE WRONGDOING: Africa's largest mobile-phone operator, MTN Group (MTN) has said an internal investigation has found the company didn't break the law to obtain a wireless-service license in Iran, Bloomberg has reported. Turkcell Iletisim Hismet is suing MTN in the US for $4.2bn, alleging it bribed officials, arranged meetings between Iranian and South African leaders, and promised Iran weapons and UN votes in exchange for a licence to provide mobile-phone service in Iran. Turkey's largest mobile- phone company said it was initially awarded the licence, which was then given to MTN in 2005. Investigators appointed by MTN and led by former UK House of Lords Judge Leonard Hoffmann, found no evidence of bribes or promises to get the South African government to support Iran's nuclear policy at the International Atomic Energy Agency, MTN said.
QTEL TO INCREASE ASIACELL SHARE: Qtel is set to increase raise its 53.9 percent stake in Asiacell, as part of the Iraqi subsidiary's $1.35bn share sale, Reuters has reported. The Qatari telecoms operator agreed in June on a $1.5bn deal to raise its stake in Asiacell to 60 percent from 30 percent, with the remaining 6.1 percent pending Iraqi regulatory approval. It may be using the public offer to reach the 60 percent level.
APPLE LOSES BID TO BAN SALE OF SAMSUNG'S NEXUS : A request by Apple Inc. to revive its bid for a sales ban on Samsung's Galaxy Nexus smartphone has been rejected by a US appeals court, dashing the iPhone maker's attempt to recover crucial leverage in the global patent wars, Reuters has reported. The fight in appeals court comes after Apple won a $1.05bn verdict last year against Samsung in a US District Court in California. Apple could still appeal to the US Supreme Court, but analysts said the high court has made it more difficult for patent plaintiffs to secure sales injunctions in recent years.
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