European lawmakers have called for a common charger to be used for all mobile handsets sold in the EU. MEPs said that such that introducing a universal charger would reduce waste, cost and hassle for users. A draft outlining the legislation has been informally agreed with the EU’s Council of Ministers.
The European Commission’s (EC) plans to abolish retail roaming rates within EU altogether by 2016 could be changed to a watered-down ‘fair-use’ policy instead, according to a draft report seen by the Financial Times.
The European Parliament’s Industry and Research Committee (ITRE) has voted to approve the telecoms single market package proposed by the European Commission. The package, outlined in September 2013, aims to abolish roaming rates within the EU as well as coordinate spectrum assignment across the region. It also calls for consumer rights to be harmonised across Europe, EU-wide protection of net neutrality and simpler rules across the EU to enable companies to invest more and cross borders with their offerings.
A coalition of 14 European mobile operators has warned of the damaging effects that the European Commission’s plans regarding the abolition of roaming charges could have on competition in the region.
The director general of the GSMA, Anne Bouverot, has sent an open letter to EC Commissioner Neelie Kroes calling for policy reform that will encourage investment in Europe’s telecoms sector. Bouverot secured endorsements from the CEOs of ten European operators with a combined European mobile customer base of almost three quarters of a billion subscriptions, according to data from Informa’s World Cellular Investors service.
The European Commission has published research that suggests Europe’s mobile operators are missing out on business from 300 million customers by charging roaming premiums within the EU. The research forms part of the EC’s continuing drive to end EU roaming charges.
French operator group Orange has said it has included roaming services in high-end tariffs for customers travelling across its entire European footprint. The operator has also launched an online portal to enable customers to remotely top up mobile credit for over 350 operators globally.
Further restrictions on European roaming charges are now likely to be introduced in September or October, rather than July as originally planned. In its initial proposals to reform the EU telecoms market, the European Commission intended to ban incoming call charges for roaming citizens within the region by July 1st 2014.
European operator groups Telefónica and Orange have thrown their weight behind a project led by the European Commission to help the region’s technology startups to grow into global internet firms. The EC said it plans to “take on Silicon Valley” with the launch of two initiatives; an acceleration programme called the Startup Europe Partnership and a think tank called the European Digital Forum.
The European Commission has formally asked Spanish regulator CNMC to withdraw or amend its proposal to cap the prices which dominant operator Telefónica can charge rivals that want to sell broadband services on it network.
European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, this week outlined her intentions to transform education across the EU using information and communications technology (ICT). Kroes, along with the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism, Sport, Media and Youth, Androulla Vassiliou, plan to unveil new proposals to reform education in Europe next week.
European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes has outlined a five-point plan to support the evolution of Europe’s telecoms sector. Part of her plan called for the industry to share experiences, data and infrastructure, claiming that this is the way business must evolve to benefit the industry. She also called on Europe’s telecoms industry to focus now on developing 5G networks, a point that the GSMA’s director general appeared to take exception to.
The European Commission is once again pushing its agenda to transform the EU’s 28 telecoms markets into one single market. Research undertaken by the EC found that mobile users across the EU face huge price differences for the same services.
A telecoms consultancy has identified discrepancies in the European Commission’s plans to create a single European telecoms market, lending credence to fears voiced by EU mobile operators.
Bang! Bang! Twelve policemen carrying a huge battering ram barge down the doors. The lead investigator strides in wearing a long beige overcoat –like the one Columbo wears, waving his police badge, declaring: “This is a raid.”
Some of the workers try to flee, but it’s futile – armed officers have the entire premises surrounded. The detective confronts the baddie, and utters a cheesy action movie phrase – something along the lines of: “Today, is your data with destiny.”
The European Commission is teaming up with Japanese government and industry to redefine internet architectures to increase the efficiency of networks in carrying data.
The European Commission has asked Germany’s telecoms regulator, the Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA), to amend or withdraw its plans to make mobile termination rates (MTR) for operators in the country more than 80 per cent higher than most other EU member states.
Neelie Kroes has expanded on her plans to create a single telecoms market within the EU and has confirmed that she does not want to get rid of national regulators.
Despite all households in the European Union now having access to basic internet connectivity, significant challenges remain before the same can be said of high-speed services, not least of which is the high cost of wiring up rural areas, according to UK research firm Point Topic.
Providing super-fast broadband to the whole of the European Union could be much less expensive than previously thought, according to UK research firm Point Topic, which estimates that the whole economic area could be served for €80bn – less than a third of the €270bn estimated by the European Commission in its Digital Agenda.