The European Commission has confirmed that two fixed line markets will no longer be subject to regulation in Europe. The retail market for access to fixed telephony, and the wholesale market for fixed call origination will no longer be affected by price caps.
A leaked report has fuelled speculation that the European Commission intends to unbundle Google in response to the internet giant’s growing share in multiple markets. According to the FT, a draft motion from the Commission states that “unbundling search engines from other commercial services” is being investigated as a means of curtailing the company’s growing dominance.
Telefónica’s Big Data Director Richard Benjamins has urged the European Union to unify the continent’s telecoms market and level the playing field between operators and OTT players. He said unless action to create more transparent and fairer market is taken soon, Europe will lose its chance to be at the forefront of Big Data.
The European Commission has announced that an investigation into content delivery antitrust has failed to find evidence of wrong-doing by internet service providers. Inspections were carried out after concerns were raised about the potential abuse of dominant market positions and violation of EU antitrust regulations.
UK communications regulator Ofcom has announced that Ed Richards, the group’s Chief Executive, will be standing down from his role at the end of 2014. The search for his successor is under way, and is targeted for completion in early 2015, despite Ofcom apparently having had significant advance warning of his departure.
The European Commission Vice President, Neelie Kroes, has delivered a farewell speech to the members of the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO); in which she urged telcos to embrace over-the-top (OTT) players, and stated her dream for the European telecommunications sector after the current Commission’s tenure ends at the end of October.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.