Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Deezer goes for IPO; Brussels approves Intel/Altera deal; Ericsson spreads mobile coverage in Benin.
Telefónica has been fined €5 million (US$5.68 million) by Spain's antitrust authority for overcharging its rivals for access to its Ethernet network, reports Reuters. Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) and Jazztel plc were among those said to be affected by Telefónica's failure to comply with regulation governing access charges.
Deezer, the French music-streaming service and smaller rival to Spotify , is looking to raise at least €300 million ($341 million) from an IPO, reports Bloomberg.
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has signed what it calls a Managed Rural Coverage contract with African operator MTN Group Ltd. to provide "mobile coverage as a service" to parts of central and northern Benin. Managed Rural Coverage is a service that, says Ericsson, enables operators to provide mobile coverage for a set period according to service-level agreements and defined key performance indicators. In this case, Ericsson and MTN Benin have signed an agreement for five years.
UK cable operator Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) is conducting a pilot of a so-called "Smart Pavement" service, which offers WiFi from access points buried under sidewalks beneath a protective resin cover. The trial is taking place in the southern English town of Chesham, and is the result of an agreement between Virgin and local government. The network, says Virgin, can deliver downlink speeds of up to 166 Mbit/s.
Going underground: Subterranean WiFi, courtesy of Virgin Media.
Sainsbury's, the UK's second-largest chain of supermarkets, is to close down its MVNO service after failing to reach agreement over a renewal deal with its network operator, Vodafone. The BBC reports that the service only managed to attract 150,000 subscribers, compared to the 4 million or so customers of Tesco, its larger retail rival.
Smart pavement I've seen proposals to embed solar power cells in pavement, particularly on roadways. Obviously, they'd have to be incredibly durable to handle the pounding from car and truck traffic. But consider the staggeringly huge surface they'd have to work with, and the power that could be generated.