think digital
European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association


May 8, 2014

European Policies

Merkel backs EU telco consolidation
The Financial Times (May 8, 2014) German chancellor Angela Merkel has thrown her support behind calls to ease restrictions on consolidation in Europe telecoms sector as the bloc’s competition watchdog nears a decision over two key mergers.     read more...
Phone Operators Implore Europe to Facilitate Domestic Mergers
Bloomberg (May 7, 2014) European regulators need to allow phone businesses within a country to merge to avoid them being choked by network costs, a top industry group said before rulings on whether to approve such deals in Germany and Ireland.     read more...
European Union Digital Champions call on presidential candidates to present a digital strategy fit for the 21th century (May 5, 2014) 'We are writing to you in our capacity as advisers to the European Commission in the field of digital agenda. Against this backdrop, we firmly believe that the next president of the European Commission needs to be a digital president, uniting behind this four-point agenda'.     read more...
Luigi Gambardella (ETNO): ‘Better telecoms regulation pre-requisite of a stronger European digital economy’
Broadband4Europe (May 5, 2014) ETNO’s Chairman Luigi Gambardella speech at “A New Digital Agenda For Europe”, (Brussels, 30 April, 2014). 'In two months the Greek Presidency of the EU will hand over to the Italian Presidency. At that time, we will have a new European Parliament and the current European Commission will be about to hand over its results, victories and open challenges to the next College of Commissioners'.     read more...
Tlc: Etno, nuova agenda digitale sfrutti potenziale aziende.
ANSA (Apr 30, 2014) A 'new digital agenda to put Europe on the map of digital development, enforcing the potential of the operators'. This is what Luigi Gambardella, President of ETNO, the association of European telecom companies, asked in a workshop organized with Telecom Italy.     read more...
A New Digital Policy and Regulatory Agenda for Europe. David Cantor's view
David Cantor (May 1, 2014) The most fundamental objectives of the EU Digital Agenda – robust competition, removal of impediments to cross-border commerce throughout the Single Market, stimulation of new infrastructure investment and high tech innovation – are not controversial. Yet seemingly intractable controversy persists around any current consensus for how best to realize these overarching objectives. A specific vision of the intended result remains clouded by widespread confusion. How did we get here?     read more...
Neelie Kroes: EU leadership and an EU digital President (May 8, 2014) 'In case you hadn't noticed – the EU is in election season. Candidates jostle and campaign for the key EU positions that could shape Europe for the coming years and decades. I am delighted that the lead candidates for Commission President have all set out digital as a priority. But what does it mean to be a digital president?'     read more...
A 'Techie' Vision From a Fountain-Pen Head
The Wall Street Journal (May 5, 2014) By Jean-Claude Juncker. 'Europe's path to growth is paved with tablets and smartphones, but first it needs a truly single digital market'.     read more...
EU and Mercosur can exchange offers until June, says EUBrasil Association
Broadband4Europe (May 5, 2014) It is possible that the four Mercosur countries can reach a common offer to the European Union (EU) until June and therefore both blocks could exchange offers by the beginning of next month. This would lend continuity to negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Mercosur, says EUBrasil Association president, Luigi Gambardella.     read more...
Antitrust action against Motorola, Samsung over Apple injunctions
EurActiv (Apr 30, 2014) The European Commission Tuesday (29 April) used antitrust rules to prevent telecoms restricting competition, by using court orders for patent infringements on industry standard technology.     read more...
EU moves to end smartphone patent wars in landmark ruling
The Guardian (Apr 29, 2014) The European commission moved on Tuesday to stem aggressive patent lawsuits by smartphone and tablet makers against rivals, ruling that Motorola Mobility had broken EU law by taking such action against Apple.     read more...
Italian presidency to support Parliament-backed telecoms reform
EurActiv (May 2, 2014) The incoming Italian presidency of the European Union is ready to support the European Parliament-backed overhaul of EU telecoms rules, despite widespread criticism of the plan from governments and leading operators.     read more...
EU-US trade talks – 5th round to start in the US on 19 May (Apr 29, 2014) A fifth round of EU-US trade talks will take place in Arlington, Virginia from 19 to 23 May 2014. The talks are part of a trade and investment deal, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP.     read more...
e-Skills: Commission launches new campaign; Greek Coalition for Digital Jobs and Skills (May 6, 2014) Demand for jobs requiring digital skills is growing rapidly – and likely to create a skills shortage that may leave up to one million positions vacant by 2020 in Europe. The Commission has identified ICT as one of three employment growth areas and to raise awareness on e-skills the Commission launches today in Athens the “e-Skills for Jobs” campaign together with the Hellenic Presidency of the EU's Council of Ministers.     read more...
E-stonia: The EU's digital pioneer?
DW (May 5, 2014) In Estonia, a broadband Internet connection is available everywhere. A young Estonian tells DW what it's like living in a completely networked European Union country and where the digital boundaries stand.     read more...

Global Policies

Tech companies urge U.S. FCC to scrap 'net neutrality' plan
Reuters (May 7, 2014) More than 100 technology companies, including Google Inc, Facebook Inc, Twitter Inc and Inc, have written to U.S. telecom regulators to oppose a new "net neutrality" plan that would regulate how Internet providers manage Web traffic.     read more...
Net Neutrality, full text of the letter directed to the chairman and commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission
Vox (May 7, 2014) 'The Commission's long-standing commitment and actions undertaken to protect the open internet are a central reason why the internet remains an engine of entrepreneurship and economic growth', writes the group led by giants including Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Twitter, and Yahoo,.     read more...
Delivering Digital Infrastructure
The Boston Consulting Group (Apr 29, 2014) Policymakers and regulators will play an important role. They should release more spectrum, allow industry consolidation where fragmentation is limiting investments, and take actions to help create environments in which dynamic digital economies can flourish.     read more...
NETMundial is over, but a new era for the Governance of the Internet is just beginning
Telefonica (Apr 30, 2014) NETMundial, the much anticipated Global Multistakeholder meeting on the future of Internet Governance organized by the Brazilian Government, has last Thursday come to an end with the non-binding NETMundial Multistakeholder Statement of Sao Paulo.     read more...
Internet 'close to three billion users', says UN
The Telegraph (May 7, 2014) The internet will have close to three billion users by the end of 2014, two thirds of which will be from the developing world, new research has found. The United Nations International Telecommunications Union said the figures will equate to around 40 per cent of the world's population.     read more...
Comcast is destroying the principle that makes a competitive internet possible
Vox (May 6, 2014) For 20 years, the internet's structure has allowed rapid innovation and falling prices. But Comcast is trying to change that and make the internet work more like a telephone network.     read more...
FBI: We need wiretap-ready Web sites
CNET (May 4, 2014) The FBI is asking Internet companies not to oppose a controversial proposal that would require firms, including Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, and Google, to build in backdoors for government surveillance. In meetings with industry representatives, the White House, and U.S. senators, senior FBI officials argue the dramatic shift in communication from the telephone system to the Internet has made it far more difficult for agents to wiretap Americans suspected of illegal activities, CNET has learned.     read more...
Internet Users Mobilize as FCC Prepares Net Neutrality Plan
The Wall Street Journal (Apr 30, 2014) Technology companies opposed to the idea of broadband providers charging extra to reach customers at the fastest speeds are quietly plotting their strategy to fight it. One option is to mobilize their millions of users to do the talking.     read more...
Five reasons to be worried about the future of American innovation
The Washington Post (Apr 30, 2014) 1. Scientists are feeling a funding crunch. 2. The funding roller-coaster undermines scientists. 3. Cuts in discretionary spending will trickle down to scientific research and innovation. 4. China is catching up to us. 5. We’re not keeping talent here.     read more...
Google accused of stifling US search market
Total Telecom (May 2, 2014) Google has been slapped with a class action lawsuit in the U.S. for allegedly maintaining an illegal monopoly on Internet and mobile search. Consumer rights law firm Hagens Berman on Thursday accused the company of stagnating the market by using Mobile Application Distribution Agreements (MADA) to ensure that its suite of services – like search, Google Play and YouTube, among others – come pre-loaded on Android devices.     read more...
PTS runs contest to improve e-coms accessability
Telecompaper (May 6, 2014) Swedish postal and telecoms regulator PTS is running another accessibility competition. This time, it is looking for proposals for IT services that can enable people with disabilities to gain access to information from the internet or another type of electronic communication.     read more...
Hong Kong OKs PCCW-CSL deal with conditions
Total Telecom (May 7, 2014) HKT has received permission from Hong Kong's telco watchdog to proceed with its $2.43 billion acquisition of CSL, albeit with conditions. In a statement late last week, the Hong Kong Communications Authority (CA) concluded that the combination of HKT's quad-play subsidiary PCCW with CSL will have the effect of what it calls "substantially lessening competition (SLC)" in the retail and wholesale mobile markets.     read more...
Regulator orders Philippine telcos to cut SMS rates, refund customers
Reuters (May 7, 2014) The Philippine telecommunications regulator ordered mobile phone firms to cut mobile text messaging rates by 20 percent and reimburse their subscribers for excess charges from December 2011 onwards, In a decision likely to be challenged by the companies in court.     read more...
India telecoms regulator recommends presumptive revenue calculation for 4G holders
Reuters (May 1, 2014) India telecom regulator recommends uniform licence fee of 8 percent of adjusted gross revenue for Internet service permit holders.     read more...
Peru telecoms regulator set to gain greater powers
BNamericas (May 5, 2014) Peruvian telecoms watchdog Osiptel is set to gain greater sanctioning power in order to better regulate operators' increasing coverage obligations and the deployment of new services such as LTE.     read more...

Digital Economy

Deutsche Telekom Net Profit Triples
The Wall Street Journal (May 8, 2014) Deutsche Telekom AG said Thursday first-quarter net profit tripled due to partial sale of the Scout24 group, but was otherwise weighed by higher costs tied to investment efforts in the U.S. Net profit rose to 1.8 billion euros ($2.5 billion) in the quarter, while operating profit fell 3.9% to €4.1 billion due to higher investments accompanying U.S. customer growth.     read more...
European cable: ice age - When cable companies offer mobile services, mobile providers pay the price
The Financial Times (May 5, 2014) Mobile growth once gave warmth to the glacial European fixed-line telephony market. Today, it is often a mere enticement that cable companies toss to restive customers. In a recent European survey by Berenberg Bank, nearly half of respondents wanted mobile sold together with video, broadband or fixed-line telephony.     read more...
Les opérateurs virtuels luttent pour survivre
Les Echos (May 6, 2014) The reshaping of the telecom sector is not limited to large operators. If the first quarter was marked by the battle for SFR, the small world of MVNO is also experiencing some trepidation. In addition to the sale of Virgin Mobile, which accelerates the process, other operations have taken place recently.     read more...
Telefonica Offers $1 Billion to Control Prisa Pay-TV Unit
Bloomberg (May 7, 2014) Telefonica SA (TEF) offered 725 million euros ($1 billion) for a controlling stake in Promotora de Informaciones SA’s pay-TV broadcaster, betting on movies and sports programs to offset its shrinking phone business in Spain.     read more...
Telecom Italia open to agreements with OTT companies - CEO
Telecompaper (May 1, 2014) Telecom Italia is adapting its strategy to the new reality of a communications sector where telecoms operators are having to compete with technological companies and is open to deals with OTT players such as Amazon and Facebook, according to the Italian incumbent’s CEO Marco Patuano.     read more...
SoftBank warns of less profitable year ahead
The Financial Times (May 7, 2014) SoftBank, the Japanese technology group, has warned of a less profitable year ahead, after seeing its annual operating profit jump more than 40 per cent year on year.     read more...
Huawei Founder: Company Aims to Be Viewed as 'European'
The Wall Street Journal (May 2, 2014) Huawei Technologies Co.'s chief executive on Friday said the Chinese telecommunications-equipment maker plans to increase investment and hiring in Europe as part of an effort to change perceptions of a company he acknowledged has been seen as 'mysterious'.     read more...
How Netflix Is Transforming the Economics of the Web
Wired (Apr 30, 2014) Netflix is now paying two major internet providers for a more direct path into the homes of all those people watching movies and TV shows on its popular video streaming service. This week, the company announced it has reached an agreement with Verizon to connect its service directly to the ISP’s network, a deal similar to the one Netflix reached with Comcast in February.     read more...
Orange detects end of price war in France
The Financial Times (Apr 29, 2014) Orange said that a brutal price war may be nearing its end as the pace of falling revenues at the French telecoms group slowed while profit margins held steady.     read more...
Telefónica sweetens offer to get antitrust nod for E-Plus deal
The Financial Times (May 6, 2014) Telefónica has sweetened the terms of its proposed €8.6bn takeover of German rival E-Plus in a new bid to gain approval from competition regulators – but has stopped short of giving up more customers or telecoms spectrum to a new mobile network operator.     read more...
TDC first quarter slightly better than expected
Reuters (May 6, 2014) Danish telecoms operator TDC reported first-quarter underlying core profit slightly above analysts' expectations and kept its full-year guidance unchanged.     read more...
Telenor Grows Profits Amid Asian Surge
The Wall Street Journal (May 7, 2014) Norway's Telenor ASA (TEL.OS) reported a solid set of results for the first quarter, as the company's growth continued to be fuelled by a customer surge in Asian markets like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.     read more...
BT lifts dividend after sports TV success
The Financial Times (May 8, 2014) The UK telecoms group has found early success in its unexpectedly aggressive but costly move into providing sports TV to its customers alongside traditional telecoms services.     read more...
Eircom considering IPO
Telecoms (Apr 29, 2014) Ireland’s incumbent operator Eircom said this week it has appointed Goldman Sachs International and Morgan Stanley & Co. International to explore strategic options including a potential international offering and listing (IPO).     read more...
Oi fundraising paves way for merger
The Financial Times (Apr 29, 2014) Brazil’s cellular and fixed line operator Oi has tapped markets for one of the country’s biggest equity market follow-on offerings in a deal that raised R$8.25bn ($3.7bn), people familiar with the issue said.     read more...

Tech & Services

25 Years of Personal Technology
Re/code (Apr 29, 2014) No industry has seen more dramatic change, and had a bigger impact on consumers and businesses over the last 25 years, than the technology business. When you compare the nature of tech products, and their roles in our lives, in 1989, with their design and impact today, it seems like 250 years have passed, not just 25     read more...
Fiber Is The Key to Successful Online Gaming
AT&T (May 1, 2014) When I set out to launch the first Howie’s Game Shack location, my goal was to bring people together to engage in the social aspect of playing video games in-person by placing hundreds of PCs and game consoles in one location. As the concept grew in popularity and the demand for games increased, so did the need for bandwidth.     read more...
Deutsche Telekom launches mobile wallet
Telecoms (May 7, 2014) German operator group Deutsche Telekom has launched a mobile wallet service in its domestic market. The operator also plans to extend the offering to further markets; to Slovakia in mid-May and in Hungary later this year.     read more...
10 Mind-Blowing Technologies That Will Be Available By 2030
Wonderful Engineering (May 2, 2014) With the pace of technological development increasing at an exponential rate, life could drastically change in a shorter time than expected. In a few years time, some of the technologies listed below will become commonplace even though some of us do not even know that the technology exists. Take a look at the list below to get a glimpse into the future.     read more...
AT&T Is Building an In-Flight 4G LTE Network
Time (Apr 29, 2014) Watch out, GoGo – you’re about to get some serious, big name competition. AT&T plans to launch the first high-speed, 4G LTE-based broadband service for planes flying as high as 35,000 feet, the company announced Monday.     read more...
MIT students to get $100 worth of bitcoin from Wall Street donor
The Guardian (Apr 30, 2014) Undergraduates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will be given $100 (£59) worth of bitcoins when they return to study this autumn, in an attempt to jumpstart a bitcoin ecosystem.     read more...
Microsoft to Sell Xbox in China for the First Time
The Wall Street Journal (Apr 30, 2014) Microsoft said it will start selling its Xbox One videogame console in China, as it looks for its first foothold in a promising but challenging market. 'Launching Xbox One in China is a significant milestone for us and for the industry,' Xbox executive Yusuf Mehdi said in a blog post late Tuesday.     read more...
Robin the robot helps take care of 94 year old Italian Grandma Lea (May 5, 2014) At 94, Grandma Lea could not live alone anymore but wanted to stay at home. In our ageing society, many elderly people are in the same situation. Robotics offers a safe and affordable solution. An EU-funded team, @giraffplus has developed the GiraffPlus system; a robot assists older people in their homes, connects them to family, friends and healthcare professionals, while wearable devices and sensors throughout the home keep an eye on the person's health and activities.     read more...
Got $93,000 to spare? Robots getting cheaper
CNBC (May 1, 2014) Lifelike "humanoid" robots are around 75 percent cheaper than they were five years ago, as technology has improved, making the price of such machines similar to that of a luxury sports car at around £55,000 ($92,997), according to a university robot expert.     read more...
Hung up for good: Remote German forest depot where thousands of phone boxes go to die... and one could be yours for just £250
Daily Mail (May2, 2014) Its wares splayed in dazzlingly pink neat rows, this is the remote forest depot where thousands of phone booths go to die. Some 3,000 pink and yellow boxes are stored at the secluded site near Berlin - and they are being sold to the public for as little as £250 each. The sale has prompted a wave of nostalgia in Germany, where the dominance of mobile phones has rendered the booths largely useless.     read more...
China’s Phone Companies in Talks for Base-Station Venture
Bloomberg (May 1, 2014) China’s three largest phone companies are in talks to set up a joint venture to develop infrastructure for mobile communication towers as a way of cutting the cost of developing and operating their networks.     read more...
Facial recognition: is the technology taking away your identity?
The Guardian (May 4, 2014) Facial recognition technology is being used by companies such as Tesco, Google and Facebook, and it has huge potential for security. Concerned? It may be too late to opt out…     read more...
My awkward week with Google Glass
The Washington Post () Intrepid Post tech reporter Hayley Tsukayama spent a week trying Google Glass. 'Would I buy Google Glass? Not now, especially with that $1,500 price tag. The device has a lot of evolving to do before it's ready for the world. The world has some evolving to do before it's ready for Glass, too'.     read more...
Microsoft developing smartwatch to rival Samsung with fitness focus
The Guardian (May 7, 2014) Microsoft is working on a smartwatch focused on fitness, heart rate and health to rival Samsung’s Gear, a recently published patent reveals. The “Wearable Personal Information System” patent application filed in 2012 describes a small device with a screen that clips into a band for use as a smartwatch, but that can also be detached and inserted into other fitness equipment becoming a personal fitness recorder.     read more...
Google App for Android Adds Nearby Shopping Alerts
Time (May 7, 2014) Google Now for Android has unleashed a powerful new advertising feature: The predictive service will now alert you when you’re near a store that carries items you’ve searched for using Google in the past.     read more...

Focus on

The #NewDAE14, workshop material
Brussels (April 30, 2014)

ETNO and Telecom Italia co-organized a workshop in view of the Italian Presidency of the EU. The #NewDAE workshop gathered over 200 senior representatives from the ICT industry, EU institutions, investors' community, academia, consultancies and consumers organizations across the EU. The debate focused on how the implications of the evolution of the Internet value chain.     read more...


#NewDAE14, Luigi Gambardella, Chairman of the ETNO Board and VP Telecom Italia
Luigi Gambardella, Chairman of the ETNO Board and VP Telecom Italia at “A New Digital Agenda for Europe”, a multi-stakeholder workshop held in Brussels in view of the Italian Presidency of the European Union, organized by ETNO (European (April 30, 2014)

Press Releases

Swisscom grows thanks to strong market performance (May 7, 2014)
'The positive trend in operating business continued, with encouraging first-quarter growth in revenue and operating income despite price erosion', says CEO Urs Schaeppi.

Deutsche Telekom receives further boost in growth from United States in the first quarter (May 8, 2014)
Thanks to the booming U.S. business, Deutsche Telekom upped the pace of growth in the first quarter of 2014. Revenue increased 8.0 percent year-on-year to EUR 14.9 billion in the first quarter.

Telekom Austria names new group CFO (May 6, 2014)
Telekom Austria on Tuesday appointed Siegfried Mayrhofer as its new group finance chief for a one-year term.

Deutsche Telekom launches e-health division called DTHS (May 5, 2014)
Deutsche Telekom has founded a new division to combine its e-health activities called Deutsche Telekom Healthcare and Security Solutions (DTHS). The division has more than 700 employees.

TeliaSonera, changes in the senior management (May 2, 2014)
Henriette Wendt has been appointed Head of Group Corporate Development. It is a new function and part of TeliaSonera’s Group Executive Management.


Competition: Annual report shows how competition policy contributes to boosting competitiveness (May 5, 2014)

Delivering on Digital Infrastructure
World Economic Forum (Apr 28, 2014)

Open Data Barometer: 2013 Global Report
Open Data Research Network (April 2014)

Carriers Going ‘Gangbusters’ with WiFi
Infonetics Research (May 2014)

Cost of cyber attacks on British companies rises
PwC (Apr 28, 2014)


mHealth, what is it? - Infographic


Next Week

Foreign Affairs Council (May 12, 2014)
Justus Lipsius building, Brussels, Belgium

LTE MENA conference 2014 (May 11-13, 2014)
Conrad, Dubai


EU-US trade talks – 5th round
Arlington, Virginia (May 19-23, 2014)

World Rural Telecoms Congress Africa 2014
Johannesburg, South Africa (May 20-21, 2014)

Annual Privacy Forum 2014
Athens, Greece (May 20-21, 2014)

Open Innovation 2.0 Conference 2014
Dublin, Ireland (June 12, 2014)

LTE World Summit
Amsterdam, Netherlands (June 23-25, 2014)

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Members & Observers - View companies map

  • A1 Telekom Austria Group
  • Albtelecom
  • Altice Portugal
  • BH Telecom
  • BT
  • CYTA (Cyprus Telecommunications Authority)
  • Deutsche Telekom AG
  • Eir
  • Elisa Communications Corporation
  • GO Plc (Malta)
  • Hrvatski Telekom
  • Koninklijke KPN
  • Magyar Telekom
  • Makedonski Telekom
  • Orange
  • Orange Polska
  • OTE
  • POST Group
  • Proximus
  • Síminn (Iceland Telecom Ltd.)
  • Slovak Telekom
  • Swisscom
  • TDC
  • TDF
  • Telecom Italia
  • Telefónica
  • Telekom Slovenije
  • Telenor
  • Telia Company
  • Vivacom
  • AT&T
  • Cisco
  • Ericsson
  • Huawei
  • Nokia
  • Prysmian Group
  • Qualcomm Europe Inc.
  • Verizon

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