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Euronews: Merkel Moots US Data Bypass

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Kroes crows about single-market progress; GSMA focuses on M2M; Deutsche Telekom nears Greek deal.

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel has used her weekly podcast to moot the possibility of a Europe-only communications network that would obviate the need for emails and other data to be routed via servers in the US, reports the BBC. Back in October it was reported that Merkel personally telephoned President Obama to demand an explanation for what appears to be clandestine monitoring of her phone calls. Germany's main operator, Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), has already suggested that, in the wake of the Snowden revelations about the National Security Agency (NSA) shenanigans, a Germany-only email system and a Schengen Area Internet might be no bad thing. (See Euronews: Merkel's Mad as Hell at NSA and Euronews: Prism a Wake-up Call, Says DT.)

    The NSA stands by as Merkel prepares to hit the 'send' button.
    The NSA stands by as Merkel prepares to hit the "send" button.

  • Neelie Kroes, the European Commission 's vice president for the Digital Agenda, has been telling the Financial Times (subscription required) that she has seen "real progress" in her mission to create a "single market" for European telecom. The apparent conversion of Orange (NYSE: FTE) to a future free of roaming charges within the European Union has been one of the factors fueling her optimism. (See Euronews: Single Telecom Market Is Go!)

  • In the run-up to Barcelona's Mobile World Congress at the end of the month, the GSM Association (GSMA) is cranking up its M2M propaganda machine, predicting that the number of M2M connections worldwide will reach the 250 million mark this year and announcing that it will use the gathering to once again show its Connected City, a collection of interactive exhibits that is intended to show that the future is very much about different devices bleeping at each other for the good of mankind and potential profit of telcos. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Deutsche Telekom, KT Corp. , and Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) are all participating in the showcase. (See GSMA Unveils Connected City Details and GSMA Predicts 250 Million M2M Connections in 2014.)

    Never mind Las Ramblas and fish-head soup -- Barcelona's getting a Connected City...
    Never mind Las Ramblas and fish-head soup -- Barcelona's getting a Connected City...

  • And, still in M2M corner, Telekom Austria AG (NYSE: TKA; Vienna: TKA) has teamed up with telematics specialist CEplus to launch six industry-specific products in the M2M space. Cars, trucks, construction machinery, agricultural/forestry vehicles, and refrigerated logistics are the verticals being addressed in these latest launches. (See Telekom Austria Expands M2M Portfolio.)

  • Deutsche Telekom is close to taking a further 10% stake in Greece's OTE S.A. , taking its total stake to 50%, according to a Reuters report citing Greek newspaper To Vima. The 10% in question is currently controlled by the debt-laden Greek government.

  • Vodafone shareholders are set to receive an average of £3,500 ($5,855) each in cash and Verizon shares on March 4 following the mobile giant's sale of its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless , reports the Daily Telegraph. UK-based shareholders own around a third of the stock market value of the group. (See Vodafone Agrees to $130B Verizon Stake Sale.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    User Rank: Light Sabre
    2/23/2014 | 9:38:05 AM
    pan-Shengen communications network
    With the advent of European Union, EU has replaced USD with Euro, US trade partnerships with inter-Euro trade, tourism-with-US to inter-Euro-tourism. Now having a pan-Europe or pan-Shengen communications network would threat the likes of Amazon & Google.

    US IT Industry will loose out with this move.
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    2/17/2014 | 9:13:05 PM
    Euronews: Merkel Moots US Data Bypass
    Very interesting.  Between the advancement of technology, and the leadership of Merkel, this could happen.  It would be interesting in that the European market represents a significant opportunity for growth.  This will be interesting to watch.

    Sarah Thomas
    Sarah Thomas,
    User Rank: Blogger
    2/17/2014 | 8:03:41 PM
    GSMA's Connected Home
    I plan to check out the Connected Home at MWC and take pics of some of the cooler or actually useful plans for M2M. If there's a connected bed for napping between show meetings, I will also check that out.
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