Global Dispatches

Bank Starts Work on IT Overhaul

MELBOURNE, Australia — National Australia Bank Ltd. last week said it has begun a five-year initiative to overhaul its core banking systems.

NAB, one of the country's largest banks, is partnering with Oracle Corp. for the project's first phase, which will deliver a new system for the bank's Star Direct unit. The system will be based on the Flexcube banking suite developed by Oracle's i-Flex subsidiary. Initial rollouts are expected within six to eight months. NAB said it will set plans for subsequent phases of the Next Generation Platform project during the same period.

The announcement came just days after NAB disclosed on July 30 that an "overnight processing delay" was holding up paycheck deposits and other payments to customers.

— Andrew Hendry, Computerworld Australia

Virtual Mobile Coming to India

BANGALORE, India — Mobile virtual network operators that provide cell phone service to customers but don't own spectrum or a network infrastructure may soon be allowed to set up shop in India.

The move to allow MVNOs to begin direct operations is expected to increase competition and lower prices for users, who currently have limited choices for mobile services.

MVNOs would also help make more efficient use of the country's telecommunications infrastructure, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said in a government report.

— John Ribeiro, IDG News Service

Briefly Noted

Nokia Corp. is setting up a six-person research unit that will work to develop prototypes of cell phones suited to the African market. Jussi Impio, team leader of Nokia Research Africa, said the continent is becoming a more important market for Nokia, although he added that the multitude of languages and insufficient infrastructure pose challenges.

— Edris Kisambira, IDG News Service

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

 
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