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When in roam

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European mobile operators are big boys and can look after themselves, but sometimes the Informer can’t help feeling for them as they strive to fend off attacks from Silicon Valley OTT giants like Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook, while being constantly hamstrung by their own side.

Telefónica acquisition of E-Plus gets conditional all-clear

Cleared at last

The European Commission has announced the conditional approval of Telefónica’s bid to acquire German operator E-Plus, almost a year after the deal was first announced, which will result in the merger of Germany’s third and fourth-largest operators and reduce the total number of operators in the country to three.

Europe and South Korea ally to define and develop 5G

5G is the way forward

The European Commission and the South Korean government have jointly announced an agreement designed to facilitate the definition and development of 5G wireless technologies. A key immediate aim is to establish a global consensus on the definition of 5G, something that the industry has only very recently begun to discuss in public.

Vodafone revelations: government snooping “bad for business”

Lack of trust harms business confidece

Vodafone on Friday piled pressure on its peers for transparency in how much access governments and authorities have to national telecommunications networks. The UK-based carrier released a substantial document revealing the level of government access required in each of the 29 countries the company holds an operating licence in.

EU single market package draws closer to approval

The European Parliament’s Industry and Research Committee (ITRE) has voted to approve the telecoms single market package proposed by the European Commission

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.

MEPs call for universal device charger

European lawmakers have called for a common charger to be used for all mobile handsets sold in the EU

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.

Smaller European operators oppose EU roaming directive

14 European mobile operators have warned of the damaging effects that the EC’s plans regarding the abolition of roaming charges could have on competition in the region

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.

Merkel, Kroes’ propositions for EU cloud “aren’t contradictory,” says EC

EU data roaming regulations and the rise of personalised user policies

This weekend German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for the creation of a secure European communications network that would avoid US-based networks and servers. But after questions about the compatibility of Neelie Kroes’ proposals to create a well-governed ‘Open Internet’ with Merkel’s calls for an “EU only” infrastructure, the European Commission reiterated support for the German Chancellor’s calls for better security and data protection but declined to comment on how the two proposals would feasibly coexist.

EC claims operators missing out on 300 million customers due to roaming rates

The European Commission has published research that suggests that Europe’s mobile operators are missing out on business from 300 million customers by levying roaming rates within the EU

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.

Orange includes European roaming in high-end contracts

Orange has said it has included roaming services in high-end tariffs for customers travelling across its entire European footprint

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.

European telecoms reform faces delay

The European Commission has said that its proposals to reform of the EU telecoms market are unlikely to gain approval before September or October 2014

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.

Telefónica and Orange grow European startups

Telefónica and Orange have thrown their weight behind a project led by the European Commission to aid growth among the region’s technology startups

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.

European Commission warns Spanish regulator over Telefónica price caps

The EC has asked Spanish regulator CNMC to amend its proposal setting the regulated prices to sell broadband services on Telefónica's network

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.

EC seeks to unlock private investment

The European Commission has outlined its intention to drive broadband investment

The European Commission has outlined its intention to drive broadband investment across member states by unlocking opportunities for private sector ventures rather than replacing them with its own funding.

Samsung proposes to end patent wars in Europe

Following investigations from the EC, Samsung has put forward a proposal not to seek injunctions in Europe for the next 5 years

Korean handset maker Samsung has offered to call a truce over its ongoing patent disputes with rival handset firms. It has proposed to the European Commission that it will not to seek any injunctions over smartphone and tablet technologies in Europe on the basis of any of its standard essential patents (SEPs) for the next five years.

Kroes calls for education and employment reform

Neelie Kroes wants education in the EU to improve, using ICT skills.

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.

EC and GSMA at odds over single market reform

The GSMA has put out a statement accusing the EC of not fully understanding how the telecoms market operates

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.

Kroes wants to abolish roaming charges but not national regulators

Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda

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.

Kroes wants EU single telecoms market reform by 2014

Neelie Kroes, vice president of the European Commission

The vice president for the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda for Europe, Neelie Kroes, has issued a call for the formation of a single EU telecoms market before the next European election. The European Commissioner voiced her intent to oversee the reform of the EU telecoms market by Easter 2014, claiming that it would be good for Europe’s economy.

“Broadband for all”: Kroes issues wake-up call to European governments

Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission

Future generations will “curse the missed opportunity” if the European broadband sector does not successfully negotiate the “tough political and investment decisions” that stand in its path, according to Neelie Kroes, vice president for the digital agenda at the European Commission. Kroes was speaking in the keynote session on Tuesday morning, and warned that Europe is “slipping behind” in productivity growth.

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