Eurobites: Virgin Sticks 300 Mbit/s Up to BT

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: trouble in Uzbekistan; surveillance laws revamped in UK; Vivacom boss slams EU 'hodgepodge.'

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

November 4, 2015

2 Min Read
Eurobites: Virgin Sticks 300 Mbit/s Up to BT

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: trouble in Uzbekistan; surveillance laws revamped in UK; Vivacom boss slams EU "hodgepodge."

  • Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) is turning up the heat on broadband rival BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) with the promise of a 300Mbit/s service for UK businesses early next year. The service, claims Virgin, will be four times faster than the best currently offered by the likes of BT. Currently available to around 13 million UK premises, Virgin's cable network is being extended to another 4 million as part of a £3 billion ($4.6 billion) investment. (See Virgin Media Boss Attacks BT/EE Deal.)

    • Russian operator Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT) has confirmed that the US Department of Justice and SEC are carrying out an investigation into its business activities in Uzbekistan. A complaint filed by the DoJ alleges that MTS made corrupt payments to gain access to the Uzbek market. Uzbekistan has become something of a hotbed of telecom shenanigans: only last week the then chairman of Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN), Svein Aaser, was forced to step down as a result of Telenor's entanglement with VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP)'s allegedly corrupt dealings in the former Soviet republic. (See Eurobites: Norway Dumps Telenor Chairman.)

    • Internet service providers will have to retain the details of every website visited by UK citizens in the past 12 months under proposed new surveillance laws, the BBC reports. Under the terms of the Investigatory Powers Bill, police and security services will need permission from the courts to access the data, except in matters relating to certain time-constrained events, such as live kidnappings.

    • Swedish carrier Tele2 AB (Nasdaq: TLTO) and local operator Altel are to combine their mobile businesses in Kazakhstan. The new business will have more than 5.6 million customers and market share of around 22%, according to Tele2.

    • The CEO of Bulgaria's largest operator, Vivacom , has used an interview by the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) to criticize the European Union's recently passed roaming regulation for failing to address the region's "real problem." Atanas Dobrev attacked the "huge disparity between the end user prices across countries, a hodgepodge of regulatory regimes and a general lack of consistent, investor friendly regulation across the EU." (See Eurobites: Dunroamin'.)

      — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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