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Eurobites: UK class action seeks £1.5B from Apple for app 'overcharging'

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telefónica teams up with Microsoft on 5G private networks; Samsung isn't going to Barcelona; Ericsson boosts indoor 5G.

  • Anyone in the UK who has bought apps, paid subscriptions or made in-app purchases on an iPhone or iPad since October 2015 could be in line for a chunk of compensation if a recently launched class action proves successful. As the BBC reports, the legal action alleges Apple's 30% commission on app sales is an abuse of market dominance and therefore unlawful. Those behind the action are intending to seek damages of up to £1.5 billion (US$2.1 billion). Apple, however, dismissed the claim as "meritless."

  • Telefónica – through its IoT-oriented Telefónica Tech subsidiary – is teaming up with Microsoft to offer 5G private networks to the industrial sector. The coming-together combines Telefónica's 5G connectivity with Microsoft's Azure-based edge computing expertise on customer premises.

  • There's more bad news for next month's Mobile World Congress today as Samsung, the world's biggest mobile phone company, confirmed that it wouldn't be attending the Barcelona show in person – though it will participate remotely. In a statement, Samsung said: "The health and safety of our employees, partners and customers is our number one priority, so we have made the decision to withdraw from exhibiting in-person at this year's Mobile World Congress." Ericsson, Nokia, Cisco, Google, Microsoft and Intel are among the heavyweights that have already announced they won't flying to Spain. (See Double checking: Are you going to MWC Barcelona?, The 'undecideds' could shape MWC Barcelona this year, Intel on the outside: Chips giant, Google and Microsoft are latest to quit MWC and Nokia joins Ericsson in bailing on MWC, with Oracle, Sony also reportedly out.)

  • Ericsson has launched a number of products intended to improve the performance of 5G indoors. Indoor AIR 1279 is an antenna-integrated radio that brings mmWave 5G, along with beamforming capabilities, to indoor venues large and small; Radio Dot 4459 offers support for C-band and Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) New Radio (NR); and Indoor Connect enables several communications service providers to deliver 5G indoors on sub-6GHz bands.

  • Ericsson's 5G technology will also play a role in the NEXGEN SIMS project, a three-year initiative that aims to develop autonomous, carbon-neutral mining processes. The $16 million project is being funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research program.

  • Orange says it is accelerating its use of solar energy and advanced battery technologies for its telecom sites across Africa and the Middle East as it works toward reducing its carbon footprint to zero by 2040. Many of its sites in this region are not connected to the grid and have until now relied on diesel-guzzling generators for their power.

  • It looks like BT wants to see its customer service workers out of their leisurewear and back in the office in the post-pandemic era, as it has announced plans to develop a new, multi-million-pound contact center in the Scottish city of Dundee. Around 1,000 workers will populate the building once it is complete.

  • Belgium's Proximus has added Amazon's Prime Video streaming service to its Android TV decoder. Prime will join Netflix and Disney+, which are already integrated.

  • Telefónica UK (O2) will be providing the connectivity for the forthcoming 5G Festival, which is described by its organizers as "the world's first 5G powered, immersive hybrid festival experience." Imagine 50,000 music fans shouting "you're on mute!" at Ed Sheeran and you get the picture. Maybe.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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