Light Reading
Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson doubles up in Romania; Swisscom goes contactless; mHealth advances in Africa.

Eurobites: Red-Letter Day for Roaming Charges

Paul Rainford
7/1/2014
50%
50%

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson doubles up in Romania; Swisscom goes contactless; mHealth advances in Africa.

  • It's a good day for connected European travelers; but not such a good one for the region's mobile operators perhaps. The latest round of intra-EU roaming price cuts come into force today, more than halving the price cap on mobile data roaming to a maximum of 20 euro cents per megabyte. The caps on making and receiving calls have also come down, by 21% and 28.5% respectively. Also, as from today European mobile operators can allow consumers to choose a local mobile provider for data services in the country they are visiting. But this isn't the end of it: Neelie Kroes, the European Commission 's perma-tweeting vice president for the Digital Agenda, hopes that by the end of the year there will be an agreement to end all roaming charges within the EU. (See Continental Shift.)

    Table 1: Roaming Charges Head South

    Type of mobile activity in the EU 2013 caps (before VAT) 2014 caps (before VAT) Decrease
    Making a call 24 cents per min 19 cents per min 21%
    Receiving a call 7 cents per min 5 cents per min 28.50%
    Sending a text message 8 cents 6 cents 25%
    Downloading data/browsing 45 cents per MB 20 cents per MB 55.50%
    Source: European Commission

    The European Commission employs a timely soccer motif to make its point. Grass could do with a cut, though.
    The European Commission employs a timely soccer motif to make its point. Grass could do with a cut, though.

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has landed a seven-year managed services deal with Romanian operators Romtelecom S.A. and Cosmote, both of which are subsidiaries of Greece's OTE S.A. Ericsson will assume responsibility for network operations and maintenance of wireline and wireless access, transmission, core and IP domains, as well as network operations for operations support systems, for both companies. Around 730 employees will join Ericsson's Global Services organization under the terms of the deal. No financial details were disclosed.

  • Ericsson has also launched an online "crowdsourcing" project to map ICT-related initiatives in cities in Northern Europe and Central Asia. The aim of the "Get Your City Networked" project is to collect up-to-date location-based information about the cities that will serve as a tool to explore the opportunities offered to cities and their inhabitants by the connected world.

  • Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) has launched Tapit, a smartphone app that allows users to make contactless payments, collect loyalty points, and access buildings. Swisscom customers are the first to be able to use the app -- the service will be available to Orange and Sunrise customers later this year. (See Swisscom Launches Tapit.)

  • Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) has sold its 49% stake in Vodafone Fiji to the Fiji National Provident Fund for FJ$160 million (US$87.9 million), though the mobile giant expects to maintain a presence in Fiji through a partner market agreement.

  • ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) has signed an agreement with Portuguese conglomerate Domingos da Silva Teixeira to foster further collaboration on communications solutions for the transportation and public utilities sectors. The pair signed an initial cooperation agreement in 2012, and the first phase of their joint project, the construction of a north-south backbone network across Portugal, was completed earlier this year. (See ZTE Teams With DST on Utilities, Transport.)

  • The GSM Association (GSMA) has announced an mHealth partnership operating across sub-Saharan Africa, with the focus on maternal and child health. Initial partners in the initiative include Gemalto , MTN Group Ltd. , and Samsung Corp. , and the partnership plans, among other things, to offer discounted Samsung handsets and tablets to consumers and health workers in the region and pre-embed a "smart health" application on 80 million Samsung handsets.

  • The CEO of Comtek Network Systems (UK) Ltd. , a UK telecom repair and support company, has issued a statement expressing his belief that new regulations from Ofcom , which are intended to speed up line repairs and installations for UK phone and broadband customers, should apply to all network providers, and not just BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s Openreach . "My only disappointment is that these regulations only apply to Openreach, rather than all of the UK's wholesale network operators, as this level of service is required by all phone and broadband customers," writes Askar Sheibani.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

    (2)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    PaulERainford
    50%
    50%
    PaulERainford,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    7/2/2014 | 4:15:28 AM
    Re: 80 million devices
    You're not wrong. A great 'cause' and a great market headlock. It's a win-win!
    nasimson
    50%
    50%
    nasimson,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    7/1/2014 | 11:57:30 AM
    80 million devices
    80 million devices! Samsung has landed on a goldmine. Through this mhealth deal, it has effectively deterred the entry of other players like Huawei, LG and other low cost device makers. Very smart of Samsung, I must say.
    Educational Resources
    sponsor supplied content
    Educational Resources Archive
    Flash Poll
    From The Founder
    It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

    1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


    Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

    1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


    In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
    LRTV Documentaries
    The Rise of Virtual CPE

    1|27|15   |   01:38   |   (5) comments


    As NFV strategies evolve from tests and trials to production telco networks, expect to hear a lot about virtual CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts during 2015.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Optical Is Hot in 2015

    1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


    Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Policy Control in the Fast Lane

    1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


    What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for
    LRTV Documentaries
    Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

    1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


    In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

    1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


    At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

    1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


    At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

    1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


    At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Pay-TV's Networked Future

    1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


    At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

    1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


    At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
    LRTV Interviews
    Cisco Talks Transformation

    1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


    In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
    Upcoming Live Events
    February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
    February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
    March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
    April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
    May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
    May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
    June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
    June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
    June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
    September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
    September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
    November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
    December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
    December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
    Infographics
    Hot Topics
    Google Continues Gigabit Expansion
    Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/27/2015
    Comcast Apologizes to 'A**hole' Brown
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/29/2015
    US Ops Spend $32.5M to Bring 4G to Chicago's Subways
    Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 1/30/2015
    Cablevision's New WiFi Try – Freewheeling Enough?
    Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 1/26/2015
    Overture Builds on NFV Foundation
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/27/2015
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    Webinar Archive
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Weekly Executive Interview
    Join us live for Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he has to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.