Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) and TDC A/S (Copenhagen: TDC) top the bill in today's helping of EMEA telecom headlines.Ericsson is to integrate caching capabilities from partner Akamai Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: AKAM) into its SSR 8000 edge routers and eventually into its radio access network (RAN) equipment to help network operators improve content and application delivery efficiencies. The vendor's Smart Cloud Accelerator caching offering, which follows on from its Mobile Cloud Accelerator (MCA) and Media Delivery Network (MDN) options, will be commercially available as a standalone product in the fourth quarter of 2012, integrated into the SSR 8000 family of routers some time in 2013 and incorporated into RAN equipment at a later date. Ericsson has also unveiled a new edge router, the 10-slot SSR 8010, which will be commercially available in the third quarter of this year. (See Ericsson Intros Smart Cloud Accelerator, Ericsson Unveils New Router, MWC 2011: Ericsson, Akamai Get Jiggy and Ericsson Unveils Media Delivery Net.)
Telefónica's Digital division has launched a unified communications app for smartphone users called Tu Me. It allows users to place voice calls, swap messages and share pictures, and can be used by anyone, not just Telefónica's customers. But it does have its limitations -- it currently doesn't enable video calls, for example. (See Telefónica Digital Gets Smart and Telefónica Launches Tu Me.)
Danish incumbent TDC saw its margins decline in its first quarter partly due to high sales of low-margin smartphones. EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) fell 4.4 percent year-on-year to 2.57 billion Danish kroner ($452.6 million) on revenues of DKK6.64 billion ($1.16 billion), up 0.5 percent year-on-year. (See TDC Boosts Revenues in 2011.)
The GSM Association (GSMA) is calling on the Turkish government to lower the rate of taxation it levies on mobile users. As things stand, taxes represent 48.2 percent of the total cost of mobile ownership in Turkey, as opposed to a global average of 18.2 percent. Not surprisingly, then, mobile penetration in Turkey is lagging behind that of most other countries in the region.
Dido Harding, the CEO of U.K. broadband provider TalkTalk , has told The Guardian that the fiber network BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is currently building out is at risk of becoming a white elephant unless it reduces its access charges to rival operators. Harding wants regulator Ofcom to begin consulting on BT's charges before the end of the year. (See BT Ramps Up Its FTTX Speeds.)