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Euronews: Sochi Gets 4G

Paul Rainford
2/7/2014
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Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: EC slams Turkey's Internet clampdown plan; Irish eyes aren't smiling; Tele2 sheds customers.

  • Today sees the official opening of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and the hollering, heavily anoraked crowds will no doubt be putting the mobile networks to the test, checking their Grindr profiles and wotnot. Rostelecom announced Thursday that it had launched its LTE network in Sochi, deploying 40 basestations in the mountains surrounding the city and in the coastal areas. Back in January rival operator Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT) announced that it was "fully ready" for the Games, having modernized its network in Krasnodar Krai, which encompasses the Sochi region.

  • Turkey, which is in the process of trying to join the European Union, is facing criticism from the authorities in Brussels for its plan to impose tighter controls on the Internet, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). Under the proposed legislation, the Turkish telecom regulator would be able to force Internet service providers to bar access to any website that was deemed to be infringing privacy within four hours of being told to do so. Browser histories would also have to be retained for two years.

  • Fiscal second-quarter revenues at Irish operator eircom fell 5% year-on-year to €334 million (US$453 million), with its fixed-line division, plummeting 9%, bearing the brunt of the slump. It's proving tough for Irish operators across the board to make a living, as this analysis on the Irish Independent.ie website points out. New Internet-based messaging and voice services are steadily eroding revenues in the Republic -- 1.3 million Irish adults (out of a population of around 4 million) use Facebook Messenger as a messaging service, for example.

  • Also having a tough time in the fixed-line sector is Sweden-based Tele2 AB (Nasdaq: TLTO). Its fourth-quarter revenues fell 3.8% year-on-year to 7.56 billion Swedish kronor ($1.15 billion), and it also managed to lose 492,000 customers during the period, a calamity it blames primarily on an unfavourable retail commission structure at its Kazakhstan operation.

  • Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and nine of its staff in Switzerland have been cleared of any wrongdoing following an immigration investigation that was launched last year. According to ITreseller, the authorities concluded that the company, rather than the individuals, are responsible for the relevant work permits, and that concluded that Huawei had not broken any laws. The decision will come as a relief to Huawei, as Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) had reportedly threatened to sever ties with the Chinese vendor if it had been found guilty of breaking any federal laws. (See Huawei & Swisscom Complete 100G Upgrade and Swisscom Picks Huawei for Fiber Expansion.)

  • Vipnet Croatia, owned by Telekom Austria, has opted for a converged charging offering from Canada's Redknee Inc. (Toronto/London AIM: RKN). The operator noted that upgrading to the latest version of Redknee's system will "increase operational efficiency" and provide it with "the ability to launch enhanced services to our customers quickly." See this press release for more details.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    Kruz
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    Kruz,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    2/10/2014 | 11:14:53 AM
    Re: He believed he could fly...
    it was informative, we got to know about Eddie :)
    PaulERainford
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    PaulERainford,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    2/10/2014 | 6:41:37 AM
    Re: He believed he could fly...
    I've vexed the readership? My work here is done...
    DOShea
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    DOShea,
    User Rank: Blogger
    2/8/2014 | 5:16:07 PM
    Re: He believed he could fly...
    You've vexed the readership once again, Paul. Well played.
    Kruz
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    Kruz,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    2/8/2014 | 4:12:03 PM
    Re: He believed he could fly...
    and I had to Google wotnot :)
    SarahReedy
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    SarahReedy,
    User Rank: Blogger
    2/7/2014 | 11:56:13 AM
    Re: He believed he could fly...
    Had to Google Grindr as I've never heard of it. haha. Well played, Paul.
    mendyk
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    mendyk,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    2/7/2014 | 10:43:45 AM
    Motel five and a half
    Hotels are a shambles, toothpaste is dangerous, squirrels are in disturbingly short supply, but Sochi has 4G! This is shaping up to be the perfect venue for a 21st century dystopia.
    Dan@LightReadingMobile
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    Dan@LightReadingMobile,
    User Rank: Blogger
    2/7/2014 | 9:57:49 AM
    Re: He believed he could fly...
    Eddie!!!! 
    PaulERainford
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    PaulERainford,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    2/7/2014 | 9:49:27 AM
    He believed he could fly...
    Of course, to us Brits, the Winter Olympics are nothing without this feller:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7MmJIy0bjo

    Fly, Eddie, fly!
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