& cplSiteName &

Eurobites: Red-Letter Day for Roaming Charges

Paul Rainford

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        ADD A COMMENT
    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!
    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.
    Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
    Wednesday, October 26, 1:00PM EDT
    Security: Tackling DDoS
    Gary Sockrider, Principal Security Technologist, Arbor Networks
    Friday, October 28, 1:00PM EDT
    Security: The Plusses and Minuses of Open Source Software
    Nick Feamster, Acting Director, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University
    Wednesday, November 16, 1:00PM EST
    SDN 101
    John Isch, Practice Director, Network & Voice, Orange Business Services
    Friday, November 18, 1:00PM EST
    SDN & Open Source
    Christopher W. Rice, Senior Vice President of AT&T Labs, Domain 2.0 Architecture and Design
    in association with:
    From The Founder
    Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
    Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Charting the CSP's Future
    Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Next-Generation Technology Beyond DOCSIS 3.1

    10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

    At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Liu Jianhua speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Hybrid Video Solutions to Change TV, Change Future

    10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

    At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Ian Locke speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Huawei Future-Oriented Giga Coax Network

    10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

    At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Allen Wang speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Huawei at SCTE 2016

    10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

    Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and take a sneak peek at the Huawei booth at SCTE 2016.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Assuring Network Quality in a Rapidly Changing Environment

    10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

    As the rate of change and complexity increases in agile networks, the importance of introducing DevOps methodologies for integrating active test and assurance solutions throughout the full service lifecycle becomes critical to ensure that customers are experiencing the service quality they demand. The industry landscape is changing, and software-based test and ...
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    A10 Networks on Service Providers' Industry Needs

    10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

    Light Reading's Steve Saunders hears how A10 enables service providers to accelerate, secure and optimize their application delivery to drive down costs, enhance service availability, and better respond to customer requirements, so they can improve customer satisfaction, monetize their network, and grow revenues.
    LRTV Custom TV
    New NFV Use Cases for Cable TV

    10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

    A large number of NFV use cases are focused on the enterprise domain, looking at virtualization of customer-premises equipment (CPE). To date, there has been little focus on the use cases and business case for virtualization of the video content delivery networks required to deliver unicast and streaming video to consumers. Amdocs commissioned Analysys Mason to ...
    Women in Comms Introduction Videos
    Meet the Future Workforce: New Faces, Expectations & Motivations

    10|19|16   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

    Millennials and their younger peers, Gen Z, expect more out of their network and more out of their work. Intel's Lynn Comp shares how the industry can prepare for this new generation of workers.
    LRTV Custom TV
    ZTE Global Services User Congress 2016 Highlights

    10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

    ZTE held its 2nd Global Service User Conference in Dusseldorf on October 13-14. Representatives from network operators, leading industry analysts and ZTE senior expertsattended the event, exploring the best practice in managed services and the vision to transform network operations into the operations center of the future (OpCF) in the software-defined networking ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    Cliff Grossner on Cloud & Network Synergy From Carrier Service

    10|18|16   |     |   (0) comments

    Local carriers offer the collaborated cloud and network service that benefits from their understanding of the regulations operating in different vertical markets.
In this interview, Cliff Grossner from IHS Technology talks about how this advanced service can support business agility and flexibility.
    LRTV Custom TV
    VeEX: Live from SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016

    10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

    Cyrille Morelle, VeEX's President and CEO, talks with Light Reading's Alan Breznick live from the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016. They discuss DOCSIS 3.1 technology, deployments and early lessons learned. New products on display include the CX350s-D3.1, CX380s-D3.1, CX310, AT2500-3G, FX150 OTDR and MTT WiFI Air Expert.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Smith Micro's Carrier-Grade WiFi Component

    10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

    Join Carol Wilson of Light Reading as she interviews the CTO of Smith Micro, Dave Sperling.
    Upcoming Live Events
    November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
    November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
    December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
    December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
    May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Hot Topics
    Attacks Have Major Internet Sites on the Ropes
    Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/21/2016
    Verizon Wants More Data on Yahoo Breach
    Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/20/2016
    WiCipedia: Grace Hopper Promotes Diversity, Girl Scouts Code & How to Thrive
    Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 10/21/2016
    Layer3 TV Comes to Town, Hints at Future
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/21/2016
    Telecom Italia Plots Digital 'Overlay,' Not Transformation
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/17/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
    There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
    Animals with Phones
    Live Digital Audio

    A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

    During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.