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Eurobites: EE's 4G Frenzy

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Brussels examines Dixons Carphone deal; Spotify reaches milestone; anyone for 4G at the French Open?

  • EE is pushing ahead with its 4G program, expanding its "double-speed" network and launching a range of 4G plans and devices which, says the operator, will make the technology more accessible. The move comes as EE's sales of 4G contract plans have outstripped the operator's 3G accounts for the first time, reaching 3.6 million. Among the new 4G-specific devices being introduced is the "Buzzard," a gizmo that plugs into a car's standard 12v connection to become a WiFi hotspot for up to 10 devices. And -- get this! -- it fits into your cup holder. For more details of EE's 4G frenzy, see this press release.

  • European Commission antitrust authorities are examining the proposed merger between independent mobile retailer Carphone Warehouse Group plc (London: CPW) and electricals group Dixons, reports Reuters. The concern is that the £3.8 billion ($6.4 billion) merger will push up the prices of mobile phones and tablets as competition is reduced. A decision is expected by June 25.

  • Spotify , the Swedish music streaming service, is celebrating the fact that it has notched up 10 million paying subscribers worldwide, though this number is still dwarfed by the number of those accessing the service for free and putting up with the ads. The most streamed artists, apparently, are Eminem, Rihanna, David Guetta, and Katy Perry. Go figure. Here at Eurobites Towers, we work best to a background of prog-rock leavened by an occasional blast of Slaughter & The Dogs or the Dead Kennedys.

  • Ireland's OpenMind Networks has launched Golgi, a service delivery platform for app developers. Golgi is intended to save developers time and help them lose fewer users to update delays and communication errors. (See Openmind Invests $5M in SDK.)

  • The Information Commissioner's Office, the UK's data privacy watchdog, has responded to the Court of Justice ruling on the "right to be forgotten," which looks set to cause a major migraine for Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and others. According to this BBC report, the ICO said it would be focusing on "evidence of damage and distress to individuals" when reviewing complaints made about Google et al regarding the "right to be forgotten" principle. (See The Right Not to Be Forgotten.)

  • Les balles nouveaux, s'il vous plait! Orange (NYSE: FTE) has extended its contract with Paris's Roland Garros stadium to provide 4G for the French Open for the next three years. As well as providing connectivity for spectators at the tournament (which starts on Monday), Orange will also be demonstrating various broadband-related services on its stand in the Place des Mousquetaires. Something to look at when the mixed doubles is on, then.

    They're lovin' the 4G, but two of them aren't sure about their headgear.
    They're lovin' the 4G, but two of them aren't sure about their headgear.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/22/2014 | 12:37:48 PM
    Re: pic
    @Paul It might. That's the claim made by this product: http://www.zepp.com/tennis/
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/22/2014 | 12:35:00 PM
    Re: pic
    Wow, crazy stuff. I doubt it could help with my backhand though.
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/22/2014 | 12:32:27 PM
    Re: pic
    @Paul the hat sensor would be there to alert you to injuries that need attention, but there are other sensors made by the company that partnered with Reebok that can go anywhere on the body and so can work to measure your arm movements. That could let you know how your swing is with absolute precision. 
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/22/2014 | 12:26:46 PM
    Re: pic
    But does your hat being a high-tech sensor actually help when you're playing tennis?
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/22/2014 | 12:16:57 PM
    The woman in the white hat appears to be 6 feet tall -- unless the other women ar unusually short. Hats actually can help prevent the sun from beating down on your head while you play. And today, it is possible to turn the hats into high tech sensors, as Reebok did with Checklight.
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