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Euronews: EC Probes Pay-TV Deals

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: LTE-Advanced in Angola; Transmode slips in Q4; Euro launch for Google's Moto X.

  • The European Commission is launching an antitrust investigation into the cross-border provision of pay-TV services, with a particular focus on licensing agreements between several major US film studios and European pay-TV broadcasters. Broadcasters such as Sky (NYSE, London: SKY) in the UK, Sky Italia in Italy and Canal+ in France will all be watching with interest, but European cable operators could be affected too if the existing licensing arrangements are deemed anti-competitive. (See Ericsson Boasts LTE-Advanced Breakthrough.)

  • LTE-Advanced has arrived in Africa, courtesy of Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Angolan mobile operator Unitel. The pair say they have successfully tested the technology on both 1800MHz and 900MHz bands on Unitel's commercial network. Unitel has more than 9.5 million customers, and claims to provide coverage to more than 95% of the Angolan population. (See Unitel Tests LTE-Advanced With Ericsson.)

  • Transmode Systems AB , the Swedish vendor of packet-optical networking technology, has announced that its fourth-quarter sales in 2013 fell below anticipated levels. Preliminary sales in the quarter were down 11.1% year-on-year to 223 million Swedish kroner (US$34.5 million). In a statement, CEO Karl Thedéen said that the slide was largely attributable to late orders not being recognized as revenue during 2013.

  • Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is to launch its high-end Moto X smartphone in the UK, France, and Germany next month, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). The Moto X was Google's first handset launch following its acquisition of Motorola Mobility in 2012.

  • Verizon Enterprise Solutions has been chosen by Tesco to better connect its suppliers, customers, and employees in 12 countries by migrating the UK retailing giant to a single global network infrastructure. Tesco, after several years of rampant growth, has seen its UK market share slip in recent times. (See Tesco Connects With Verizon Enterprise Solutions.)

  • Finnish website Yle reports that a group of businesses in the former Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) stronghold of Salo are hoping to attract a Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) campus to the town. Representatives from the group are due to meet up with Microsoft bigwigs in Espoo next month.

  • SSE Telecoms has expanded its contract with JANET to cover an additional part of the UK's research and education network in the south of England, replacing JANET's existing infrastructure. SSE will provide a dark fiber core network using 280km of underground fiber routes, allowing JANET to deliver high-bandwidth services to 70 additional educational institutions. (See JANET Extends With SSE Telecoms .)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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