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Euronews: €1B EU Funding Plan Adopted

Ray Le Maistre
12/9/2013
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Also in today's regional news roundup: Vodafone unveils a brand engagement strategy, Etisalat expands the reach of its mobile commerce service, Telenor lands an insurance deal, and Myriad gets certified with Twitter.

  • The European Council of telecom ministers has adopted the rules and guidelines for the Connecting Europe Facility, which will provide stimulus funds for communications, energy, and transport projects across the European Union's member nations for 2014-2020, Telecompaper reports. Unfortunately, this move is a reminder that the digital communications infrastructure was not prioritized when it came to the European Commission's budget-making process, as an initial proposed budget of €9.2 billion ($12.6 billion) for high-speed broadband and cloud services infrastructure was slashed to just €1 billion during a budget review in February. (See: Why 9.2 Is the Magic Number and Euronews: EU Kills Broadband Budget.)
  • Etisalat , which provides communications services to more than 144 million customers in 15 countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia/Pacific, has expanded its Flous mobile commerce service to Benin. The service enables mobile services customers to use their devices as digital wallets. "By bringing banking to the unbanked, we are investing in communities and giving them the tools to flourish and thrive," said Khalifa Al Shamsi, Etisalat's chief digital services officer. "This is especially relevant for Benin as the market for financial services has yet to fully mature. So it will be exciting to see the impact on society when this innovative new product takes off." Etisalat is one of a number of carriers, alongside the likes of Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) and Telenor ASA (Nasdaq: TELN), that have formed separate divisions to develop and provision digital services such as mobile commerce, cloud, and machine-to-machine (M2M) services. (See: Etisalat Boasts Progressive Strategy.)
  • Vodafone Group plc has unveiled a social media-led brand engagement program called Vodafone Firsts, designed to create "a much deeper and direct interaction with more than 400 million customers worldwide." The program includes involvement in the New Year's Eve fireworks display in London, which will be a "multi-sensory" experience that people will be able to "taste and smell, as well as see." Seriously. For more details, see this press release.
  • The insurance company Tryg signed a five-year deal worth 80 million Norwegian krone ($13 million) with Telenor ASA (Nasdaq: TELN) for contact center and telephony services in Norway and Denmark. The services will be delivered using hardware and software from Cisco Systems Inc..
  • The Swiss firm Myriad Group, which has developed an unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) platform that enables Twitter services to be offered to mobile users who don't have data connectivity, has become a "certified Twitter partner." Myriad, which already has USSD service partnerships with operators such as Movistar and Orange, says USSD services are relevant to hundreds of millions of mobile users in Latin America, Africa, Asia/Pacific, and India.
  • — Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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    Ray@LR
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    Ray@LR,
    User Rank: Blogger
    12/9/2013 | 1:27:53 PM
    Watch out for Etisalat
    Watch out for Etisalat to become a bigger name on the global stage in the comms servics market, interms of the advances it is making and its digital strategy. It has a strategy that looks like it could take it places.... or even attract some advances!
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