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Euronews: Liberty Global Plans Pan-European MVNO

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia invests in Here; NSN focuses on mobile security; more Uzbek shenanigans.

  • Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) is planning on continuing its incursion into the Old Continent by becoming a pan-European mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), according to a report on Bloomberg. Senior Vice President Manuel Kohnstamm said the operator plans to have MVNO operations in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, and the UK, where it already has a significant mobile business in the form of MVNO Virgin Mobile. Liberty outlined its plans to add mobile services to its operations in Europe in November last year. In January, Liberty Global agreed takeover terms with Ziggo, the Dutch cable operator, for €4.9 billion (US$6.7 billion).

  • Newly handsets-free Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) is to pump more money into its Here mapping software unit, establishing it as a discrete operation alongside the Advanced Technologies research unit, reports the Financial Times (subscription required).

  • Another scion of the Nokia family, Nokia Networks , has announced plans for what it's calling a "mobile broadband security center" within its Berlin offices. The intention is to create a "knowledge exchange" on mobile broadband-related security research with customers and research partners. (See NSN Plans Mobile Broadband Security Center in Berlin.)

  • Hard on the heels of news that VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP) was being investigated for alleged irregularities at its Uzbekistan unit comes an announcement from Sweden's Telia Company that two of its Dutch holding companies, TeliaSonera UTA Holding B.V. and TeliaSonera Uzbek Telecom Holding B.V., are being probed for possible involvement in bribery and money laundering.

  • Members of the European Parliament have voted to tighten up rules on personal data, mandating that any company wanting to disclose any EU citizen's data to a third country would have to seek prior authorization of the appropriate national data protection authority in the EU and inform the person concerned of the request.

  • Bouygues Telecom has raised the cash element of its bid for Vivendi 's SFR by €800 million ($1.1 billion) to €11.3 billion ($15.7 billion) in an attempt to see off the rival bid from Numericable-SFR , reports Bloomberg.

  • UK joint venture EE is trumpeting the fact that it has come up smelling of roses in the latest survey of UK mobile operators' performance by RootMetrics , topping six of the main monitoring categories, including overall network performance and network reliability. It's unlikely that Vodafone UK will be getting its trumpet out: It came bottom overall. Parp.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    User Rank: Light Sabre
    3/14/2014 | 8:39:47 AM
    Re: Better days to come!
    I'm sure their lawyers are working on it right now. Don't surprised if they find a way round it...
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    3/14/2014 | 5:08:06 AM
    Better days to come!
    Finally! A bold move by the EU parliament, with almost a consensus (621 votes to 10).

    "The rules require any firm (e.g. a search engine, social network or cloud storage service provider) to seek the prior authorisation of a national data protection authority in the EU before disclosing any EU citizen's personal data to a third country."

    Paul, any responses/comments what this will mean for Google, LinkedIn and the likes? All their Terms of use and Privacy statements (which anyway read as "You own nothing you publish & Everything can be used against you") are now void in the EU. Maybe even I start using those some day...

    User Rank: Blogger
    3/13/2014 | 6:33:24 PM
    Liberty Global MVNO
    Both a cable and mobile empire is in the works. No wonder Liberty Global wants to buy up every European MSO in sight. What next for them, Paul?
    Sarah Thomas
    Sarah Thomas,
    User Rank: Blogger
    3/13/2014 | 12:39:28 PM
    Every operator tends to quote the metrics report that suites them best, but I think RootMetrics is a pretty good measuring stick. Vodafone, and others, have a long way to go to catch up to EE's early lead.
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    3/13/2014 | 10:06:01 AM
    Sounds like TeliaSonera AB  is up for trouble now.
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