Light Reading

Eurobites: Netflix Spreads Its Wings

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson does VoLTE for Bouygues; LTE in North Africa; UK mobile coverage in the slow lane.

  • Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), the world's leading online video player, has named the European countries into which it plans to expand its operation later this year: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, and Luxembourg are in its sights. Netflix already operates in seven other European countries, and it claims around 48 million customers in more than 40 countries worldwide. (See Netflix to Spend Big, Strike Cable Deals in 2014 and Who’s Afraid of OTT? )

  • Bouygues Telecom , which recently lost out to Numericable-SFR in a takeover battle for SFR, has chosen Ericsson to help it launch voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) services on its 4G network in France. Commercial rollout is scheduled for 2015.

  • North Africa has got what is claimed to be the region's first commercial LTE network, courtesy of Algérie Télécom and Nokia Networks (now Nokia Networks). Under the terms of the deal, NSN provided its Single RAN Advanced solution based on its Flexi Multiradio 10 basestation for the majority of the LTE network.

  • Telecom Plus, which operates the Utility Warehouse utilities-bundling brand in the UK, has seen full-year revenues rise 9.5% to £658.8 million (US$1.11 billion), and adjusted profit before tax up 25.3% to £44.6 million ($75.3 million). The company is unusual in that it does not advertise or have shops but instead relies on word-of-mouth and an army of "distributors," commission-based salespeople who earn a cut each time they persuade another person to sign up.

  • OpenSignal, which compiles information on mobile coverage, has produced a report which suggests that the "connected car" might be a concept ahead of its time in the UK, as large chunks of the country's major roads network are still missing 3G or 4G reception. For the country's motorways it found that, overall, 3G or 4G was available to drivers (and their passengers) 76% of the time, while on A-roads (the next rung down in the UK roads hierarchy) the equivalent figure was just 67%.

  • EE has had its knuckles rapped by the UK's Advertising Standards Authority for an ad in which it claimed it offered "Britain's most reliable broadband for staying connected." BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) complained it was misleading, its complaint was upheld, and the ad won't appear again. For the full explanation of the judgement, find a comfy chair then click here.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/22/2014 | 1:31:45 AM
    Re: Netflix
    I would love to be able to pay for Netflix and then use it no matter where I am in the world, but like you pointed out there are some complexities that need to be delt with for each region. :-( sooner or later, I have my fingers crossed. 
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/22/2014 | 1:29:44 AM
    Re: Netflix
    Exactly, the last thing I want is to go outside and enjoy nature. LOL. When I first moved to Thailand I tried using a proxy with Netflix but there just wasnt enough bandwidth. That left me to explore other options... 
    User Rank: Light Beer
    5/21/2014 | 5:23:38 PM
    Re: Netflix
    Who wants to do that...?
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/21/2014 | 1:42:42 PM
    Re: Netflix
    I think that there is a lot of complexity for Netflix to enter these new markets. They have to pay for content, and they have to figure out how to offer an optimal streaming experience on top of the carriers there. 

    It's a given that they will continue to expand globally in order to grow revenue. But I think it is going to take a long time to be a worldwide content player. However, that's a very worthy goal. 
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/21/2014 | 8:33:03 AM
    Its nice to see them expand some more, but I am still waiting for them to break into Asia. 
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