Business briefs involving Quadrant, Data#3, Colloqui and Microsoft

Listed WA minerals exploration and telecommunications investment group Quadrant Australia will lift its stake in the Iridium satellite communications network following a decision by Bareena Holdings to exercise its options to increase its holding. In January Quadrant agreed to acquire Bareena, a company owned by Perth entrepreneur Michael Boyd, which owns 10.98 per cent of Iridium and held an option to lift its stake to 26.47 per cent. If all options are exercised Quadrant/Bareena will have lifted its holding to about 18 per cent of the issued units in Iridium, a spokesman claimed.

Listed IT services provider Data#3 has become the first Australian-owned company to gain the status of Cisco Advanced Security Partner. The new qualification allows Data#3 to sell, design, install and maintain a range Cisco security solutions, such as firewalls, Cisco Secure, Netsonar and NetRanger.

Melbourne company Colloqui, which has developed an IP-based media exchange, has joined the Cisco New World Ecosystem Partner Program as a voice application and packet telephony partner focusing on real time media services for both new economy and Internet companies. Its new-found status will help Colloqui market its ChatStack product worldwide, a spokesman explained. "ChatStack enables Internet-based companies to generate revenues from their existing customer base and provide compelling content and functionality to attract new users," he explained.

In the US Microsoft has taken the unusual step of joining the GSM Association, which is an industry body representing mobile telephone network operators. The giant developer hopes the move will help it promote use of its "Windows-powered" SIM smart cards, which can be used on GSM handsets to identify users and store information like an address book. Microsoft has also signed agreements with Mitsubishi Electric and British company Sendo to manufacture mobile phone handsets using its Stinger operating system. Last year Samsung agreed to produce Stinger-enabled mobile phones.

While it's one thing to be tinkering with mobile phones, Microsoft may be a little more wary about news that in Canada - as in the US -- Government agencies have begun an investigation of the developer's investment in Corel. It is not clear when the investigation will begin, although it is expected to examine competitive implications of the transaction.

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