Top Stories of the Week – June 23, 2012

Rebtel says call app could lift Facebook sales

A simple proposition like this could lift Facebook's annual revenue by some $800 million and give the social network a direct-billing relation with millions of Facebook users, the chief of mobile calling firm Rebtel told the press.

Andreas Bernstrom said a Facebook voice service charging for VoIP calls going into traditional telephones could in theory create the world's second largest telecoms network by customers, after China Mobile and ahead of Vodafone.

"A serious business step from Facebook could have a significant effect on operators," Bernstrom stated.

The CEO of Rebtel, the world's second largest Internet calling app after Microsoft’s Skype, said his calculations are based on Skype-like pricing and uptake of the service, that would give Facebook more than 8 million credit cards.

Skype now available to your TV set

Increasingly, your PC can do anything your TV can do. But now Comcast is turning the tables on its competitors by offering Skype on TV.

After introducing the popular video calling service in several of its key markets, the cable giant has unveiled it on Xfinity in Houston, Texas. However there's a monthly charge.

To use the service, cable subscribers must install a high-quality video camera, an adapter box and a specialized remote — all included in a Comcast-provided set package. A subscriber is also required to have Xfinity Internet Service, an HDMI cable box and of course, a Skype account. Comcast charges US$9.95 per month for the Skype on Xfinity service.

Find Friends Nearby: Facebook’s new feature for finding people around you

Facebook has developed a new feature that lets users find friends and potential friends nearby. Currently called “Friendshake” and also accessible through a URL that is the abbreviation of “find friends nearby” (http://fb.com/ffn), it is another step in Facebook furthering its reach into the mobile market, and creating services to meet new people — rather than building up more connectivity with the ones you already know. And, in keeping with Facebook’s emphasis on being as omnipresent as possible, for now it’s not being delivered in a native app, but via the mobile web. It’s accessible via Facebook’s mobile apps, too.

Google TV coming soon

The long-awaited Google IPTV service will shower onto the international scene starting in the next few days in Australia, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Brazil and Mexico. The service has already been active to some point in the United States for the past few years.

There is a catch for some who want to access the IPTV service. Australian viewers, at least, have to buy the Sony set-top and a Bravia TV, local reports in Australia say.

Tulix expands IPTV content delivery to OTT devices

Tulix has revealed that it is expanding its IPTV content delivery practice to offer channel development and streaming service for clients for delivery OTT devices, starting with the NEO TV platform this year.

They also said that it will soon expand its smart-TV channel development to LG Smart TVs in addition to its current Samsung offering.

For 2012, Tulix has been focusing on developing new streaming and content delivery programs. Several of the company's clients have used the UniStream platform for multiple screen encoding and delivery so far.

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