European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association
109/2014 May 22, 2014
Telecoms package crushed ahead of 6 June Council Europolitics (May 21, 2014)
The Greek Presidencys report confirms member state hostility to legislative proposals. If the Council wants to move forward with the adoption of the digital single market, it should focus on those provisions that gathered 'at least some support', says the Greek Presidency of the Council - not without irony, after six months of work. Its draft progress report, which will be sent to permanent representatives on 28 May, and subsequently to the Telecoms Council on 6 June, has confirmed member states hostility to the telecoms package.
Ofcom marks out UK stance on net neutrality TelecomTV (May 19, 2014)
If you thought net neutrality was a done deal in Europe, you need to think again. The European Parliament may have had its say and added a few amendments to the telecoms package, but its possible that the council of ministers (essentially representing the member state governments) might come into the fray.
Telecoms watchdog warns on EU rules The Financial Times (May 18, 2014)
The British telecoms regulator has warned that proposed European rules safeguarding 'net neutrality' could be damaging if they fail to recognise the need for internet management.
Last month, the European Parliament agreed proposals to ensure 'net neutrality', the concept of unrestricted access to the internet. The plans would, for example, ban 'business class' internet access for companies willing to pay more.
EU urges U.S. to move faster to end Internet monopoly Reuters (May 21, 2014)
The European Commission on Wednesday urged the United States to speed up its promised efforts to dilute U.S. influence over the governance of the Internet, saying it was time for America's monopoly to come to an end.
The U.S. government announced in March that it will give up its most direct means of control over the Internet's infrastructure, but has insisted that the job be taken on by a group that includes the private sector and other interested parties, not just multiple governments.
Trans-European operators not yet on the horizon Europolitics (May 20, 2014)
IDATEs annual report on trends in the telecoms sector, Digiworld 2014, confirms the decline of European operators. 'Europe is the only part of the world where there has been such an explosion in traffic, yet such a drop in revenue', François Barrault, president of IDATE, told Europolitics. Nevertheless, a decline in the number of national operators will not lead to the defragmentation of national markets, and the emergence of trans-European operators. In the absence of a single market, related markets remain national, Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia recently highlighted.
State aid: Commission adopts new General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) May 21, 2014 (Europa.eu)
The European Commission has adopted a revised General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) for state aid. The Regulation is part of the State Aid Modernisation (SAM), setting an ambitious reform program of state aid control fostering sustainable, smart and inclusive growth. One of the components of SAM is the increased flexibility given to Member States to grant state aid without prior notification and approval by the Commission, provided that certain conditions are met.
ETNO on the revised EU General Block Exemption Regulation for State Aid (GBER) ETNO (May 21, 2014)
The European Commission presented today the revised EU General Block Exemption Regulation for State Aid. ETNO welcomes the inclusion of aid for broadband infrastructure in the scope of the GBER, as public funding targeted to rural areas can prove important in helping the achievement of the Digital Agenda targets for NGA networks roll-out.
Nevertheless, ETNO expresses its concern as regards the final text of the Regulation.
E.U. Antitrust Chief Casts Doubt on Google Deal Over Rivals Links The New York Times (May 20, 2014)
The European Unions antitrust chief said Tuesday that he might yet take a tougher stance toward Google in a long-running case that he and the company have been in talks to settle for more than a year. The announcement, by Joaquín Almunia, is a potential blow for Google, which reached a tentative deal with Mr. Almunia in February by agreeing to display rivals links more prominently in its search results.
LEurope des télécoms attend encore les deals à léchelle du continent Les Echos (May 19, 2014)
KPN-Telefonica in Germany, Hutchison-Telefonica in Ireland, SFR-Numericable in France: three mergers between major telecom operators are waiting for the green light from the competition watchdog. They have in common to be confined to mergers nationally. This year, other 'deals' of the same type could reach the table controller - as Bouygues Telecom, Yoigo in Spain, Tele2 in Sweden.
EU extends deadline for Telefonica/E-Plus decision Total Telecom (May 12, 2014)
The European Commission has extended the deadline for issuing its verdict on Telefonica Germany's planned acquisition of E-Plus to 26 June. The EU's competition watchdog, which has been reviewing the deal since December, was due to announce its decision on Thursday.
Deutsche Telekom complies with data protection rules Telecompaper (May 20, 2014)
Germany's Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information announced that Deutsche Telekom has successfully completed the process for approval of its group policy relating to data protection and company-wide data protection regime (Binding Corporate Rules).
Auch die Deutsche Telekom hat genug von Google Die Welt (May 19, 2014)
Google is under attack due to its market power. Publishers filed a class complaint. The federal government makes more and more pressure. Now Deutsche Telekom pulls. The Federal Commissioner for Data Protection, Andrea Voßhoff, calls for rapid implementation of European privacy regulation. 'Data are global, they must be protected globally'.
How the Web's Fast Lanes Would Work Without Net Neutrality The Wall Street Journal (May 16, 2014)
If U.S. regulators end up allowing telecom companies to set up fast lanes on the public Internet, companies that make the needed gear say the remaining service would inevitably get a little slower. The idea of a fast lane, or 'paid prioritization', means preferred traffic moving inside broadband providers' networks would be ushered through congested spots first.
FCC Advances Fast-Lane Web Plan on Net-Neutrality Bloomberg (May 15, 2014)
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler yesterday said 'the prospect of a gatekeeper choosing winners and losers on the Internet is unacceptable'. Thats what the FCC will be, no matter how it fashions final rules.
F.C.C. Backs Opening Net Rules for Debate The New York Times (May 15, 2014)
Federal regulators appear to share one view about so-called net neutrality: It is a good thing. But defining net neutrality? That is where things get messy. On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to open for public debate new rules meant to guarantee an open Internet.
US rules on internet fast lane move ahead The Financial Times (May 15, 2014)
The US Federal Communications Commission on Thursday approved a contentious proposal on net neutrality rules that could reshape the future of the internet, amid protests inside and outside the agency.
The new rules would allow internet service providers to charge companies such as Netflix and YouTube to reach consumers at higher speeds, but only under certain conditions that will be highly scrutinised.
FCC votes to allow preferential treatment under new net neutrality rules ZDNet (May 15, 2014)
The national debate over net neutrality has taken another turn that could lead to more controversy. The Federal Communications Commission decided in a 3-2 vote on Thursday morning that it will allow telecommunications and broadband providers to charge content providers for preferential treatment across their respective networks.
Meet Jessica Rosenworcel, the FCC Swing Vote The Wall Street Journal (May 21, 2014)
As a young law grad in the 1990s, Jessica Rosenworcel left New York for Washington 'kicking and screaming' at the behest of her future husband. The policy world held little allure, she said, though she knew she wanted to be on the front lines.
Bridging Transatlantic Differences on Data and Privacy After Snowden Brookings (May 20, 2014)
The United States and Europe are linked by common values and overlapping heritage, an enduring security alliance, and the worlds largest trading relationship. Europe has become the largest crossroad of the Internet and the transatlantic backbone is the global Internets highest capacity route.
Cisco boss calls on Obama to rein in surveillance The Financial Times (May 18, 2014)
Ciscos chief executive has written to President Barack Obama warning of a collapse of trust in US technology after evidence emerged showing the National Security Agency breaking into his companys equipment.
In a letter seen by the Financial Times, John Chambers called for 'standards of conduct' to rein in government surveillance so that national security objectives do not interfere with the USs leading position in the global technology market.
Israel makes headway in cyber security The Financial Times (May 20, 2014)
In a quiet corner of an Israeli farming village, Tanya sits at her computer and chats online with some of the most skilled hackers in cyber space. Some are just having fun; others are planning heists of credit card details or denial-of-service attacks that would cripple targeted websites.
FCC Chairman Cites Google Fiber As Model For The Rollout Of Speedy Broadband TechCrunch (May 20, 2014)
'The private sector must play the leading role in extending broadband networks to every American. Thats why the FCC is committed to removing barriers to investment and to lowering the costs of broadband build-out. Google has developed a checklist for cities that want to participate in their Google Fiber project of steps that can be taken to ensure easier access to existing infrastructure and to make construction speedier and more predictable'.
Russian Regulator Slams Social Networks The Wall Street Journal (May 16, 2014)
A top Russian regulator denounced Twitter as 'a global instrument for promoting political information' and said that Facebook occasionally makes 'internally motivated decisions'. Both popular networks, the official said, could be shut down 'in a matter of a few minutes' tomorrow, if need be.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India goes soft on quality Deccan Chronicle (May 22, 2014)
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Wednesday said that it has been monitoring the performance of telecom operators and has been imposing financial disincentives on them, wherever there has been failure to comply with the benchmarks on service quality standards.
AfDB envisages the power of ICT for Africas transformation The African Development Bank Group (May 19, 2014)
The African Development Bank (AfDB) highlighted Information Communication Technology (ICT) as a vital tool that will contribute to the economic transformation of African economies. According to Mthuli Ncube, the Chief Economist and Vice-President of the AfDB, many African countries have embraced ICT for socio-economic development, an important step towards achieving knowledge-based society.
Data: telcos' big bomb vs OTT players Telecom Asia (May 21, 2014)
By Mike Ropicky. Mobile phone operators can no longer depend on the revenue from SMS text messaging. Margins are being impacted by chat-apps from over-the-top (OTT) providers like Skype, WhatsApp and Viber, which entice customers to their services with free deals and unlimited talk times.
Netflix to Launch in Germany, France, and Four Other European Countries Reuters (May 21, 2014)
Netflix Inc will launch its online movie and TV subscription service later this year in France, Germany and four other European countries, in a major push into new markets. The other new countries Netflix will enter in late 2014 are Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg, the California-based company said in a statement on Wednesday.
Vodafone faces battle to reverse effect of European challenges The Financial Times (May 20, 2014)
'Project Spring' has finally begun for Vodafone, although the appropriately named £7bn investment plan has yet to deliver results as another year of steep revenue falls in its mature European markets caused a further £6.6bn writedown. The UK telecoms companys £7bn network investment began this year but has yet to reverse the drop in European revenues, which have been hit by regulatory burdens and challenging competitive and economic conditions.
Dish Network ponders options after AT&T deal for DirecTV The Financial Times (May 22, 2014)
When AT&T announced its $49bn agreed bid for DirecTV earlier this week, the deal appeared to leave Dish Network and the companys one time poker-playing chairman, Charlie Ergen, out in the cold.
In the wake of that deal, shares in Dish have fallen by almost 6 per cent reflecting a belief among investors that the DirecTV bid, like Sprints potential offer to purchase T-Mobile US, effectively removes another potential strategic partner.
Las grandes 'telecos' y las teles comienzan a ser lo mismo en España, Europa y EEUU El Economista (May 21, 2014)
Operators rush to buy audiovisual content providers to enrich their offer. There are many recent examples that confirm this trend.
Moreover, in a few years, European operators will end up with flat rates for unlimited fixed charge for consumption, as has happened in the mobile broadband. In this new scenario, videocompany that has compelling content will have half the battle.
Bouygues and Orange consider partnership options The Financial Times (May 16, 2014)
Bouygues and Orange have held informal discussions about potential partnerships including a merger of their telecoms businesses.
The chief executives of the two telecoms groups have held meetings to discuss options, according to one person familiar with the situation, although he added that there were no formal negotiations or any deal on the table.
EE launches rural phase of 4G rollout The Guardian (May 21, 2014)
The village of Silverburn stands at the foot of the Pentland Hills south of Edinburgh and numbers just 65 inhabitants, but it is about to be plugged into EE's superfast mobile network, as the operator launches the rural phase of its 4G rollout. EE on Wednesday said it would bring 4G to 2,588 rural and suburban locations. However, the group has pulled back from its ambition of reaching 95% of the population by December, and is now aiming to get to 90%, up from 73% currently.
America Movil launches 1.4bn Telekom Austria takeover bid Total Telecom (May 16, 2014)
America Movil has launched a takeover bid for all the Telekom Austria shares not currently owned by itself or state holding company OIAG.
The Mexico-based telco giant is offering 7.15 per share, or about 1.4 billion. In an offer document published on Thursday, America Movil said its offer is valid until 10 July. In order for the transaction to proceed, America Movil's bid must be accepted by shareholders that collectively own more than 50% of the outstanding stock.
German Telecom Deal Faces Fresh Delays The Wall Street Journal (May 20, 2014)
Telefonica SA is facing fresh delays in its 8.55 billion euro ($11.7 billion) bid for German cellphone operator E-Plus amid a growing debate over how to regulate Europe's rapidly consolidating telecom sector.
The European Commission, the region's central antitrust authority, said Monday it had postponed for a third time its deadline for ruling on the deal, to July 3, according to a statement on its website.
Google Buys an Enterprise Android Company, Divide Re/code (May 19, 2014)
Google is buying a startup that focuses on Android in the enterprise and was backed by its Google Ventures investing group. Needless to say, its an alignment of interests. The company is Divide, formerly known as Enterproid. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the Divide team will join the Android team.
Orange to sell Uganda stake to Africell Telecoms (May 19, 2014)
French incumbent telco Orange has announced that it is to sell its 53 per cent stake in Orange Uganda to Africell, an aspiring pan-regional operator that currently provides services in the DRC, Gambia and Sierra Leone. The deal awaits approval from the relevant authorities, Orange said.
Yahoo Japan drops Y324bn plan to buy eAccess from SoftBank The Financial Times (May 19, 2014)
Yahoo Japan has pulled out of a Y324bn ($3.2bn) deal to buy a mobile phone carrier from its own largest shareholder, the telecoms group SoftBank, that had been met with deep scepticism from investors.
Yahoo Japans share price has tumbled by one-third since it announced the complex deal to buy eAccess in late March.
Apple, Google reach patent truce Total Telecom (May 19, 2014)
Peace between Apple and Google broke out late last week after the companies agreed to drop their lawsuits against one another. In court documents filed late on Friday, Apple and Google moved the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals to "dismiss this litigation without prejudice", which in theory means they could be reinstated. They also agreed that each party would bear its own costs and legal fees.
Tech & Services
Wheres the tablet market going? Microsoft lays out its own take The Washington Post (May 21, 2014)
Since the iPad's introduction in 2010, there's been a promise in the air: that we could finally stop lugging around laptops in favor of these lightweight, totally mobile touchscreen devices. The next year, everyone rushed to make their own versions of the iPad, and the promise got bigger.
'All consumers can do is choose hi-tech or cheap' The Telegraph (May 20, 2014)
The co-founder of Finland's latest mobile phone manufacturer, Jolla, tells Matthew Sparkes how all mobile phones are the same, that his sales figures are secret and why he will avoid the 'ridiculous' smartphone patent wars raging in the US.
3D-printed Braille phone created by London business The Telegraph (May 19, 2014)
A London-based company has begun selling a Braille mobile phone to help blind people stay in touch with friends and family for just £60, thanks to cheap and easily adaptable 3D printing techniques. The company already sells extremely simple, cut-down mobile phones that only have a handful of buttons and no screen. There are separate buttons labelled with the name of family members or any other preset, and dial and hang-up buttons.
Apple apps made to run on Android devices BBC (May 19, 2014)
Android and Apple apps have been shown running side-by-side on the same devices thanks to software developed by US computer scientists. The software, called Cider, has been created by postgraduate researchers at Columbia University.
China bans use of Microsoft's Windows 8 on government computers Reuters (May 20, 2014)
China has banned government use of Windows 8, Microsoft Corp's latest operating system (OS), in a blow to the U.S. technology company which has long been plagued by sales woes in the country. The Central Government Procurement Center issued the ban on installing Windows 8 on government computers as part of a notice on the use of energy-saving products, posted on its website last week.
Spotify Leaps to 10 Million Paying Subscribers The Wall Street Journal (May 21, 2014)
Spotify AB has more than 10 million paying subscribers and more than 40 million monthly active users, the company said in a rare update of its usage data on Wednesday. The Anglo-Swedish company hasn't officially updated its usage numbers since March last year, when the company said it had more than six million paying users and more than 24 million active users.
Wearable tech can be implanted in brains, thanks to new power technique The Guardian (May 20, 2014)
New wireless charging technique developed at Stanford University could enable embeddable sensors, pacemakers and nerve stimulators
A breakthrough in wireless technology could allow a new wave of health tracking tools that can be embedded inside our bodies in our livers, hearts and even in our brains.
Why Techs Best Minds Are Very Worried About the Internet of Things Wired (May 19, 2014)
The Internet of Things is coming. And the tech cognescenti arent sure thats a good thing. For years, the prospect of an online world that extends beyond computers, phones, and tablets and into wearables, thermostats, and other devices has generated plenty of excitement and activity. But now, some of the brightest tech minds are expressing some doubts about the potential impact on everything from security and privacy to human dignity and social inequality.
Facebook developing video messaging app to rival Snapchat The Guardian (May 19, 2014)
Facebook is working on a video chat app to rival the popular Snapchat ephemeral messaging app, according to reports. Known internally as Slingshot, according to the Financial Times, the app has been under development for the last couple of months and could be launched as soon as this month.
Forget 'the Cloud'; 'the Fog' Is Tech's Future The Wall Street Journal (May 18, 2014)
By Christopher Mims. Here's the reality: Getting data into and out of the cloud is harder than most engineers, or at least their managers, often are willing to admit. The problem is bandwidth. If you're a company simply seeking to save the cost and headache of storing data yourself, the cloud is great as long as all you need to do is transfer data back and forth via high-speed wiring.
Wearing Google Glass can hurt, doctor warns BBC (May 20, 2014)
Google has warned people not to use its Glass eyewear for long periods of time because it can cause pain. The company said the technology was not meant to be used for "reading War and Peace" and takes time to adjust to. It follows complaints from some users of pain after wearing Google Glass.
Internet adverts could be smart, not creepy The Telegraph (May 18, 2014)
There's a more intuitive way of targeting adverts at web users than creeping them out by invading their privacy, claims advertising chief Maia Shiran, Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Marimedia.
eBay hack puts millions at risk of identity theft The Telepragh (May 21, 2014)
Millions of eBay customers could be at risk of identity theft after hackers stole personal data such as names, email and postal addresses, phone numbers and dates of birth, giving attackers the information they need to break in to other online accounts.
Apples Original Fruit-Colored Logo Is for Sale Time (May 19, 2014)
Two rainbow-striped Apple logos that once graced the companys headquarters will go up for auction on June 4. Bonhams auction house set the starting price for the iconic signs at $10,000. The signs were mounted to the exterior of Apples headquarters in Cupertino, California until 1997, when they were replaced by Apples monochromatic logo and gradually began to accumulate value among tech heads with a nostalgic streak.
Dear Jean-Claude Juncker,
Dear Ska Keller,
Dear Martin Schulz,
Dear Alexis Tsipras,
Dear Guy Verhofstadt,
ETNO, the Association representing Europes major telecoms operators, welcomes the presence of digital policies among the priorities included in the programmes for the next term. We strongly believe that sound digital policies should be top of the list of policy actions that you will undertake as a future President of the European Commission.
The reason is simple.
Eircom Wholesale drives fibre broadband to 42 schools(May 21, 2014)
Forty-two schools in counties Cork, Kilkenny, Kerry, Louth, Limerick, Waterford, Wexford and Dublin are to receive 100Mbps fibre broadband now that a partnership has been forged between HEAnet and Eircom Wholesale.
90% of Albtelecom's mobile sites connected with fibre(May 16, 2014)
The national backbone network of Albanian operator Albtelecom currently extends for over 2,800 kilometers, with 90 percent of mobile sites connected with optical fibre, according to the Albtelecom and Eagle Mobile CEO Erkan Tabak.