The European Commission has once again been trying to show who's boss, telecom-wise, by reading the regulatory Riot Act to Lithuania, Romania, and Luxembourg. Lithuania has been referred to the EU Court of Justice for failing to comply with EU rules that require a clear separation between those who regulate the telecom market and those providing telecom services; Romania has been asked to comply with the same rules; and lil' ol' Luxembourg is being pressed to put in place inexpensive out-of-court procedures for consumers involved in telecom service disputes. (See EC Takes Action and EC Presses Luxembourg .)
According to a report in The Financial Times, France Telecom is in talks to buy a minority stake in Korek Telecom Ltd. , Iraq's third-largest mobile operator. The French giant announced back in July that it was hoping for significant growth in Africa and the Middle East as part of a new five-year strategy. (See FT Unveils New Action Plan.)
The cash-strapped UK government plans to terminate its £800 million (US$1.2 billion) "Mobile Solutions II" mobile and data services contract with Vodafone, BT, Telefónica UK Ltd. , EE , and others 11 months early, according to Mobile Magazine. The government is thought to be looking instead at either setting up an MVNO deal or bulk-buying its connections through regular tendering. (See BT Dips on Green Report.)
An unexpected twist in the "Google Street View Upsets the Locals" saga: According to the BBC, defenders of the search giant have been throwing eggs at the homes of folk in the German town of Essen who have had the audacity to request that pictures of their homes be blurred out on the Street View mapping system. Some of them have also had "Google's cool" notices pinned to their front doors. Now that's just plain weird.