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Euronews: EC's Mobile Plan Under Pressure

Neelie Kroes, Mobistar SA and Free start the week in today's trawl of the EMEA headlines.
  • Today sees another major pow-wow between Neelie Kroes, the European Commission's vice president for the Digital Agenda, and assorted European telco execs, the latter hoping that they can persuade Kroes & Co to row back a bit on their proposals for reform of the EU telecom market, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). According to the report, the summit follows a realisation within the EC corridors of power that the draft proposals relating to wholesale charges could threaten the profitability of established mobile operators, which could be undermined by smaller rivals able to compete across the EU without having to commit to any significant capital expenditure. (See Euronews: Roaming Cuts Kick In, Big-Time and Euronews: 'Single Market' Plan Rolls Into Action.)
  • Shares in Belgium's Mobistar fell to an 11-year low this morning following the operator's cut in its 2013 guidance, reports Reuters. Mobistar's revised outlook projected that its 2013 revenue would fall 12 percent year-on-year, compared with an earlier estimate of a decrease of between 4 percent and 6 percent.

  • ARCEP, the French telecom regulator, has cleared broadband provider Free of discriminatory traffic management techniques relating to content emanating from Google and Google-owned sites such as YouTube. ARCEP's report concluded that "no practices contrary to principles of net neutrality were observed." (See Is This a Turning Point? and Online Liberty Tested in France.)

  • Ivory Coast's technology minister is claiming that a US$210 million fiber rollout, initiated by Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. last year, will connect around 30 percent of the West African country's population to the Internet, reports Reuters. It is hoped that the project will be completed by the end of 2013. — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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