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Eurobites: BT Boost From Broadband Price Ruling

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Orange appeal against Bouygues' spectrum refarming rejected; ZTE sticks it to Vringo; UK fracas over Freeview's future.

  • Shares in BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) were up 2.3% Thursday morning following pronouncements from UK regulator Ofcom on how BT prices its "superfast" broadband, reports Reuters. Ofcom rejected a complaint from broadband rival TalkTalk , which had claimed that there was too small a gap between the wholesale price BT charged other operators and the retail price it charged customers. Ofcom has also proposed a new set of requirements that it hopes will address the broadband pricing issue in the future. The rules, if implemented, would mean that BT has to maintain a "sufficient margin" between its wholesale and retail broadband price, but they stop short of imposing a price cap on BT, which is what the likes of TalkTalk were after.

  • Another regulator, France's Arcep , has had its decision to allow Bouygues Telecom to provide 4G services by refarming the 1800MHz band validated by the country's highest administrative court, the Conseil d'Etat. Orange's appeal against ARCEP's original decision was rejected.

  • Chinese vendor ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) has filed an antitrust complaint with the European Commission against intellectual property company Vringo . ZTE claims that Vringo's licensing practices regarding patents contravene the FRAND terms and are "impeding fair competition" in the telecom market. (See ZTE Files Antitrust Complaint With EC Against Vringo and Vringo Sues ZTE in UK.)

  • Zain Group 's Kuwait unit has turned to Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) for help with its OSS travails. Under the terms of the contract, Nokia will provide its NetAct Advanced Monitor fault management platform along with associated offerings to provide a more centralized approach to OSS for the operator.

  • UK broadcasters BBC and ITV are on a collision course with Arqiva , the company responsible for Britain's terrestrial TV masts, reports the Daily Telegraph. The broadcasters apparently want to adopt technology developed by Freesat, the free-to-air satellite TV service, for Freeview Connect, the planned Internet-connected successor to digital TV platform Freeview. Arqiva is thought to be resisting the plan because it is not a shareholder in Freesat and fears being squeezed out of the action.

  • Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has signed a deal with trade credit insurance firm Euler Hermes to cover its European mobile business against payment default. Huawei says its consumer mobile business contributed nearly a quarter of its overall global revenue in 2013.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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