Big Tech

Eurobites: Regulator group shows its colors in Big Tech-vs.-operators slugfest

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Eutelsat plugs OneWeb merger; Google Cloud over the Nordics; Netflix signs up to BARB in the UK.

  • BEREC, the association of European communications regulators, has made it clear that it is opposed to the principle of network operators being compensated by Big Tech for carrying Big Tech's massive and ever increasing network traffic load. In an assessment paper, BEREC concluded that it has "has found no evidence that such [a compensation] mechanism is justified given the current state of the market," adding that there is "no evidence of 'free-riding'" on the part of the content and application providers, which is the term BEREC uses for the likes of Google, Amazon and Netflix. Responding to this assessment, the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) claims that BEREC's paper "does not bring new data to the table," and that ETNO is "working to provide additional fact-based evidence for the upcoming European Commission consultation." (See Taxing the Internet rich to feed the telco poor would be madness and Europe's telcos flout net neutrality in push to make Big Tech pay.)

    Network operators and Big Tech continue to slug it out.
 (Source: Arisa Chattasa on Unsplash)
    Network operators and Big Tech continue to slug it out.
    (Source: Arisa Chattasa on Unsplash)

  • France-based Eutelsat has been making the case for its proposed merger with OneWeb, producing an update that predicts revenues will grow at a double-digit CAGR (compound annual growth rate) to reach €2 billion (US$1.94 billion) in 2027, while EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) will hit €1.4 billion ($1.36 billion) in the same year. Should the merger go ahead, the new entity will combine Eutelsat's fleet of 36 geostationary (GEO) satellites with OneWeb's constellation of 648 low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites, providing stiffer opposition to Elon Musk's Starlink and Amazon's Project Kuiper. (See Eutelsat, OneWeb join forces to launch beefed up European satcomms player.)

  • Google Cloud is setting up shop in Norway and Sweden, establishing its first "cloud regions" in both countries. Both regions, says Google, offer businesses the choice to keep their data onshore and retain "data sovereignty." They are also aiming to operate on round-the-clock carbon-free energy by 2030.

  • In the spirit of greater ratings transparency, Netflix has signed up to BARB, the UK's independent viewing figures agency. From November 1, BARB will report Netflix viewing figures every day, in the same way it reports viewing figures for traditional broadcasters. According to BARB, SVoD/AVoD services currently comprise about one-sixth of all viewing in the UK.

  • Vodafone has teamed up with Vilicom to bring 4G to what Vodafone describes as the world's largest offshore wind farm, Hornsea 2, located 55 miles off the UK's Yorkshire coast. Hornsea 2 provides renewable energy to more than 1.4 million UK homes.

  • Telia is to provide and manage a new data network infrastructure for Ellevio, a Swedish electricity company. The ten-year agreement will see Ellevio's 8,000 electricity substations connected to its smart grid.

  • Nokia is shamelessly using the 2022 TISSOT UCI Track World [cycling] Championships, being held this week near Paris, to show how a private 5G network can enhance the fan and media experience at such events. As part of the demo, live video streams of races will be shown on a large screen at the Nokia booth, and visitors will be able to tailor their view of the action, thanks to 360-degree robotic cameras at the velodrome operated remotely in real time.

  • EE, the mobile arm of UK incumbent operator BT, has launched a new range of "connected laptops" for small businesses. The devices, from Samsung, Lenovo and Acer, come with a built-in 4G/5G SIM and mobile data plan.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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