Huawei and Telefónica announced on December 23, 2016, that they have signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together on jointly developing the NB-IoT markets in Europe and Latin America. The two companies have already started their first trials of a NB-IoT solution and are aiming to start to launch commercially in Europe and Latin America during 2017.

Read more: Telefónica and Huawei sign MoU to develop NB-IoT markets in Europe and South America

Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia announced on December 20, 2016, that they have signed a MoU to create the NFV Interoperability Testing Initiative (NFV-ITI) that will help communication service providers to address the challenges related to NFV deployment and Cloud transformation within multi-vendor network environments.

Read more: Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia sign MoU to create NFV Interoperability Testing Initiative

Australian telco TPG has submitted the winning bid for mobile spectrum in Singapore setting it up to be the nation's fourth mobile telecommunications operator. TPG beat Singapore ISP MyRepublic, which has just entered the Australian Internet market and which was the only other bidder for the spectrum.

Read more: Australia's TPG to be fourth Singapore cellco

Ooredoo Maldives and Huawei Marine announced the inauguration of Ooredoo's Nationwide Submarine Cable on December 16, 2016, an important investment by Ooredoo Maldives to strengthen its networks, as part of its commitment to power a Digital Maldives. Azleen Ahmed, Home Minister of Maldives, Wang Fukang, Chinese Ambassador to Maldives and more than 200 guests attended the event.

Read more: Ooredoo and Huawei Marine inaugurate National Submarine Cable in Maldives

Telstra, Australia's largest mobile operator, has been barred from participating in an upcoming digital dividend spectrum auction over concerns from the country's regulators that it could increase the company's dominance creating an unfair playing field. Telstra already owns more than 50 percent of the available low-band spectrum in Australia and has a 52 percent share of the country's mobile connections.

Read more: Australia's Telstra barred from upcoming digital dividend spectrum auction

The Thai government is to cooperate with Alibaba on a range of initiatives to develop e-commerce in Thailand by providing training to SMEs and individuals and exploring ways to enhance the country's logistics capabilities to support Thailand 4.0 and Digital Economy strategies.

Read more: Alibaba to help Thailand build a digital economy

India's Reliance Communications, the internet access and telecommunications company headquartered in Mumbai, India, is selling its mobile phone tower business to Brookfield, a Canadian asset management giant, for $1.6 billion, it was reported on December 21, 2016. The deal represents the largest investment by a foreign company in Indian infrastructure, according to Reliance.  Brookfield reportedly seeks to capitalize on liquidity constraints at major Indian firms.

Read more: India's Reliance is selling its mobile tower business to Canadian company for $1.6bn

Apple received a timely boost in China after a difficult number of months in the region '“ following the news that its iPhone 7 was the second best-selling phone in urban China. It has recently faced a public relations backlash after a consumer watchdog in Shanghai revealed that eight iPhones had combusted and exploded '“ although Apple moved swiftly to dismiss safety concerns over its products and said the flaming phones were caused by external factors, and refused to recall any of its units.

Read more: Timely boost for Apple in China as iPhone 7 sales increase

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