Video services

Euronews: BT Wins Termination Rates Appeal

BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) and Telekom Austria AG (NYSE: TKA; Vienna: TKA) get things moving in today's roundup of EMEA headlines.

  • U.K. giant BT will no doubt be celebrating today after the Competition Appeal Tribunal ruled that it could charge higher termination rates to "non-geographic" numbers, reports the Financial Times (subscription requred). Ofcom , the U.K. regulator, had previously decreed that BT could not increase the termination rates, following complaints from T-Mobile (UK) about BT charging mobile operators for connecting calls to these numbers, some of which are free or cheap to call from a BT landline.

  • Spanish operators have lost their appeal against the so-called "telco tax", which was introduced by Spain's government to make up for revenue lost to the state following the ending of advertising at public broadcaster RTVE, reports Telecompaper (subscription required). The tax has been declared illegal by the European Commission . (See EC Urges End to Telecom Taxes and Euronews: Sept. 27.)

  • Research from U.K. cable operator Virgin Media suggests that one in four users of its TiVo-driven TV service are going beyond the traditonal Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) and using the TiVo search feature and related apps to find their favorite programs. Judging by the search results, however, they still end up watching garbage. (See Virgin Presses 'Play' on TiVo.)

  • Despite all the ongoing political upheavals, there's still good telecom money to be made in the Middle East: Wataniya Telecom , Kuwait's second-largest mobile operator, posted second-quarter earnings up 18.7 percent year-on-year, reports Reuters.

  • Telekom Austria has completed its acquisition of B.net, Croatia's largest cable operator, for €93 million (US$132.7 million). (See Telekom Austria Completes B.net Buy and Telekom Austria Acquires B.net.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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