Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Spotify renews deal with indie labels; Orange Belgium's Q1; Virgin gives it some Voom; Finland's epic coffee fail.
In what could be a significant ruling for European telcos looking to exploit new avenues of income, the Dutch courts have ruled that T-Mobile Netherlands can continue offering its "data-free" music streaming service, NL Times reports, citing NU.nl. Back in December, the Dutch Authority for Consumer and Market (ACM) had ordered T-Mobile to withdraw the service, which offers mobile music streaming that does not count against a user's data allowance, so T-Mobile turned to the courts, which ruled that because the service is allowed by the EU rules on net neutrality the ACM does not have the power to ban it.
And in other music streaming matters, Sweden-based Spotify has renewed a licensing deal with Merlin, which represents 20,000 independent record labels. As Reuters reports, Merlin is Spotify's fourth-largest partner behind Sony, Universal and Warner Music. Earlier this month Spotify struck a deal with Universal -- the label behind pop juggernauts such as Taylor Swift and Adele -- which it hopes will persuade more of its subscribers to pay for its ad-free "premium" service.
Orange Belgium saw revenue inch up 0.6% year-on-year to €274 million (US$293 million) in its first quarter, while EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) rose 3.6% to €72.2 million ($77.2 million) (disregarding the intriguingly named "Walloon pylon tax provision"). The operator has had particular success with its "Love" bundle, adding 50,000 loved-up customers in the first quarter, an increase of 16,000 on the previous quarter. Based on these results, Orange Belgium is reiterating its guidance for the full year.
UK cable operator Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) is going after small businesses with the launch of its Voom Fibre service, which offers a downlink speed of 350 Mbit/s as standard -- more than four times faster than equivalent speeds offered by its rivals, it claims. Prices start from £30 ($38) per month, rising to £55 ($70) per month.
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has notched up a video delivery contract win in Mexico, for broadcaster Televisa. The system selected by Televisa features Ericsson's AVP Encoder with HEVC compression module, the MX8400 multiplexer and a number of RX8200 HEVC receivers with integrated DVB-S2X de-modulator.
Well, it may be National Tea Day here at Eurobites' UK nerve center, but any loyal reader of Light Reading knows that coffee is closer to our hearts, at least before lunchtime. According to YLE, new figures show that Finland leads the world in coffee consumption, with 2.7 cups a day per head the average. To which we say: 2.7 cups a day? Pah! Here at Light Reading Towers we consider anything less than 7.2 cups a day a failure. Come on Finland, you can do better than that.
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.