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Eurobites: Telecom Italia Eyes Brazil Merger

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: EE causes a stir with queue-jumping service; Huawei and Rostelecom box clever; soccer bosses clamp down on bootleg goal videos.

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) is considering proposing an "industrial combination" with Vivendi 's Brazilian operation, GVT, that would see the integration of the two group's businesses in Brazil. Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) has already tabled a €6.7 billion (US$8.9 billion) bid for GVT. (See Eurobites: Gemalto Buys Data Protection Specialist.)

  • UK mobile operator EE has ruffled a few feathers with the launch of a service that allows its customers to jump the service call queue -- provided they pay for the privilege. The BBC reports that EE's Priority Answer service, which is available to customers on SIM-only contracts, greets callers with an automated message asking them if they want to pay 50 pence (just short of a dollar) to be put straight through to a customer service representative. If they don't, they must wait with all the other poor saps listening to Mantovani, or whatever. As a customer experience exercise, this probably needs work.

  • Russian operator Rostelecom is co-operating with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. on the development of Floor Distribution Boxes (FDBs), which, says the vendor, are deployed as the interface between the outside plant and the inside plant for FTTH installations. For more details on the development of the FDBs, see this Huawei press release.

  • Following on from yesterday's news that Manchester United was banning tablets from its ground, the Premier League, which runs the top flight of English soccer, has said that it is clamping down on fans posting their self-made videos of goals online. As the BBC reports, last season thousands of fans used the Vine app to post goals they had just recorded off live TV on social media, thereby undermining the efforts of Sky (NYSE, London: SKY) and BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), which had both paid hundreds of millions of pounds for the rights to Premier League live content. The Premier League kicks off this weekend. (See Eurobites: Soccer Surge for BT's Fiscal Q4.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    User Rank: Light Sabre
    8/15/2014 | 11:10:08 AM
    EE certainly gets the biggest facepalm.  Nothing really says what your company thinks of its customers like making them pay for the privilage of getting their issues addressed as fast as possible.

    Premier League gets the second-biggest.  Trying to clamp down on fans isn't quite biting the hand that feeds you, but it's nipping at the fingertips for sure.
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