Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Russian operator makes a move on Crimea; Duma considers ban on foreign telecom kit; publishing boss turns guns on Google.
A leading candidate to become the next president of the European Commission has indicated that he is in favor of easing the EU antitrust laws which, he feels, are hampering much-needed consolidation in the region's telecom industry. In an interview with the Financial Times (subscription required), Jean-Claude Juncker says: "A first thing we should do is rethink the application of our competition rules in digital markets," a soundbite that will be music to the ears of a number of telco bosses.
The eyes of the world are on Ukraine right now, and it seems Russian operator Rostelecom is looking that way too. The Moscow Times, citing Kommersant, reports that the operator is setting up a branch office in Crimea with a view to investing 15 billion rubles (US$417 million) in developing a new network on the troubled peninsula.
The Moscow Times also reports that Russia's State Duma (or parliament) is considering a partial ban on foreign telecom equipment. The report, citing Lenta.ru, says a Duma committee has proposed a bill that will allow foreign-made telecom gear to be used in Russia only if there is no domestic equivalent. Defense and security concerns are being given as the reasons for the proposal.
Don't be evil? Eat my shorts! The Guardian reports that the head of Germany's Axel Springer SE publishing empire, Mathias Döpfner, has used an open letter in a German newspaper to accuse Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s Eric Schmidt of effectively running a "protection racket," reinventing the search giant's company motto as "if you don't want us to finish you off, you better pay". Say what you mean, Mathias!
Google's Eric Schmidt: He's probably not on Mathias Döpfner's Christmas card list.
Orange (NYSE: FTE) has been celebrating a mobile money milestone: It has just signed on the 10 millionth customer of its Orange Money service. Ms. Kanny G, of Dakar in Senegal, won a smartphone and the local equivalent of €152 ($210) when she opened her account. Don't spend it all at once, Kanny G.
Eurobites is taking a break for a chocolate-themed public holiday, and will return, refreshed, on Tuesday.
Media monopolies I don't know how it is in Europe, but in the US, media companies such as newspapers and broadcasters had monoplies for decades on getting messages out to citizens.
If it was the same in Europe, then Mathias Döpfner's comments are just a former monopolist complaining that somebody else has all the marbles.
And in fact the Internet and Google have been better for competition, by permissing many more sources to get citizens' ears. In America past decades, even in a diverse market like the NY metropolitan area, you had eight or nine sources for information: A few TV and radio news outlets and a couple of newspapers. Now, you can go to Google News and get hundreds -- or if you don't like what you find there, you can go directly to individual Websites and find millions of sources of information. How does anybody lose except for monoplists like Mathias Döpfner?
"The Moscow Times also reports that Russia's State Duma (or parliament) is considering a partial ban on foreign telecom equipment. The report, citing Lenta.ru, says a Duma committee has proposed a bill that will allow foreign-made telecom gear to be used in Russia only if there is no domestic equivalent. Defense and security concerns are being given as the reasons for the proposal."
Is there enough of a Russian telecom hardware industry that this measure would have more than symbolic significance? Or worse for Russia — are the Russian products existent, but inferior to Western counterparts?
Gotta wonder who in Rostlecom is going to staff that office in the Ukraine, a nation that seems on the verge of civil war. I'm thinking it's someone really popular, who never remembers to contribute to the office coffee fund.
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.
During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.
She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.