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ZTE to deliver LTE in Slovakia

SWAN is the fourth player in the market

Slovak operator SWAN on Thursday signed up Chinese vendor ZTE to deliver a nationwide LTE project. The deal includes the exclusive construction of a core CS/PS (circuit-switched/packet-switched) network, and a GSM/LTE and VAS network, involving over 1,100 dual-mode base stations.

Vodafone Greece takes majority stake in Hellas

Consolidation is underway in Greece

Vodafone has agreed to acquire a majority holding in Greek fixed line operation Hellas Online. The company will purchase 72.7 per cent of the share capital from Intracom Group and World Equities Investments for €72.7m. Vodafone Greece already holds 18.5 per cent of Hellas Online, with the most recent transaction taking its ownership to 91.2 per cent.

TeliaSonera, DNA to share network in rural Finland

The deal will improve coverage in rural Finland

The Finnish operation of Scandinavian operator TeliaSonera has agreed a deal with local Finnish carrier DNA that will see the two share network resources and spectrum in the sparsely populated Northern and Eastern regions of Finland.

Deutsche Telekom signs up Bango for carrier billing

Deutsche Telekom is expecting carrier billing to take off

German carrier Deutsche Telekom has extended its billing capabilities though a partnership with mobile payments and analytics company Bango that will widen access to direct operator billing for app store purchases.

Moldcell freshens up licence portfolio

Moldcell has got new licences

The Moldovan subsidiary of TeliaSonera, Moldcell, acquired new licenses for spectrum in the 800 and 1800MHz radio frequency bands, valid for a 15-year term starting in November 6. Moldcell paid €25.5m for the licences.

Over three quarters of UK users satisfied with mobile provider

Satisfaction with coverage drops in rural areas

UK communications regulator Ofcom has released research showing that while overall levels of consumer satisfaction with mobile networks are high, an estimated 45 per cent of users experience some problems. Moreover, around 30 per cent of users experience no reception at least once a week.

EE NFC handsets compatible with London buses

On the buses with NFC

UK carrier EE this week enabled its own flavour of NFC, dubbed Cash on Tap, for London’s bus network, allowing customers to use their phone in lieu of an Oyster card or contactless debit card. Users will need an EE handset and an NFC-capable SIM.

Ofcom cuts back proposed spectrum price hike

The initial proposal was met with strong opposition

UK communications regulator Ofcom has responded to criticism over its proposal to increase annual licence fees for 900 and 1800MHz spectrum in the UK with a reduced proposal and the promise of a further consultation before the plan is finalised next year.

Sky shores up Italian, German holdings with £5bn pay TV blowout

Sky is taking control of assets in Italy and Germany

UK-based media empire BSkyB created a multinational pay TV business on Friday with the £4.9bn acquisition of Sky Italia and a 57.4 per cent stake in Sky Deutschland. The move puts Sky in a leading position in the pay TV market in the UK, Italy and Germany.

Vodafone boosts fibre play in southern Europe

Vodafone is fibre-ing up Spain and Portugal

Vodafone this week closed the acquisition of private equity-owned Spanish cable operator Ono for which it paid €7.2bn. Ono offers high speed broadband and pay TV services in Spain and Vodafone said that the transaction will accelerate its unified communications strategy “in a highly converged European market”.

Telefonica puts focus on security

Security is getting more and more attention

European carrier Telefónica has unveiled a collaborative security working environment aimed at helping developers and researchers create and share their own digital intelligence gathered from different sources. It offers security researchers and intelligence analysts and developers a free infrastructure to create topologies using the modules available in the community as well as custom developed modules.

Cisco invests $30m in IoT centre in Barcelona

Cisco intends to invest close to $30m in the facility

Networking giant Cisco on Wednesday announced plans to open an Internet of Things innovation centre in the Spanish city of Barcelona. From 2015 to 2020, Cisco intends to invest close to $30m in the facilities’ restoration, innovation lab, IT equipment, and talent acquisition primarily in engineering, application development and research.

Huawei invests in UK chip firm

It's the first UK company investment for Huawei

UK startup and fabless semiconductor company XMOS this week announced $26.2m in Series D investment that will see Chinese vendor Huawei take its first equity stake in a British firm. The Chinese company joins Robert Bosch Venture Capital of Germany and Xilinx from the USA as strategic investors, alongside existing investors Amadeus Capital Partners, DFJ Esprit, and Foundation Capital.

BBC, EE demo ‘buffering-free’ broadcast over LTE

The BBC is trialling multicast technology

As spectrum efficiency becomes ever more important, UK public broadcaster the BBC is teaming up with equipment vendors Huawei and Qualcomm and mobile operator EE to demonstrate the benefits that multicast 4G broadcast can offer compared with unicast streaming.

Three joins London Tube wifi network

All UK operators now offer wifi access on the Tube

UK fibre network operator and cableco Virgin Media has added cellular player Three as the latest wholesale partner for its wifi on the London Underground service. By the end of July, Three customers will be able to access wifi at over 144 Tube stations for no extra cost.

Citrix appoints former CA Technologies exec to lead Northern Europe

Jacqueline de Rojas, area vice president, Northern Europe, Citrix

Virtualisation incumbent Citrix has announced the appointment of former CA Technologies executive Jacqueline de Rojas as area vice president, Northern Europe. In her role she will help drive awareness of the company’s virtual and mobile offerings across the region.

Connected home leaders pitch device protocol

Nest is getting connected

Building on growing momentum in the connected home space, several big name vendors including Yale Security, Silicon Labs, Samsung Electronics, Nest Labs, Freescale Semiconductor, Big Ass Fans and ARM, have joined forces to develop a new IP-based wireless networking protocol to connect devices.

Vendors develop open source framework for Internet of Things

Vodafone puts faith in machines

A collaboration of industry vendors took form on Tuesday with the inauguration of a consortium focused on improving interoperability and defining connectivity requirements for the billions of devices that will make up the Internet of Things (IoT).

Tele2 sells out of Norway

oslo-norway

In news that will come as no great surprise, Nordic carrier group Tele2 on Monday agreed to sell its Norwegian business to TeliaSonera for an SEK5.1bn (€500m). It’s been known the company was mulling an exit from the market after failing to win any spectrum in an auction late last year.

BlackBerry offloads R&D unit to Volkswagen

Connected cars are a hot topic

Although device and software maker BlackBerry has fallen on hard times, it’s long been thought the company may carve a niche for itself in the automotive software space. So it was unsurprising when the company revealed this week that it has sold its European research and development centre in Bochum, Germany, to local auto firm Volkswagen.

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