Eurobites: Vodafone UK Launches Fixed Broadband, Voice

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BT/EE moves to second stage of scrutiny; TeliaSonera buys a chunk of Spotify; OTE sheds more jobs.

  • Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) has launched high-speed fixed broadband in the UK, using its Cable & Wireless enterprise network to offer the service in selected areas, Reuters reports. Existing Vodafone customers will be able to get the (up to) 76 Mbit/s service for £10 (US$15) a month for the first 12 months, plus the cost of line rental. The operator will also be offering landline voice services as part of the Vodafone Connect package. Vodafone already offers fixed broadband in many of its other European territories, so the move makes sense, not least because of the impending takeover of its mobile rival EE by BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), which will give rise to a quad-play behemoth in the UK. (See Vodafone in Asset-Swap Talks With Liberty.)

  • Talking of which, the UK's Competition and Markets Authority has fast-tracked its investigation into BT's proposed acquisition of EE to its in-depth second phase, as requested by BT. Third parties -- no doubt including Vodafone and other rivals -- will now have an opportunity to air their views on the acquisition. It might not be pretty.

  • Nordic operator Telia Company is to pay $115 million for a 1.4% stake in Spotify , the Sweden-based music streaming service. Spotify is facing increased competition from Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), which this week announced its intention to claw back some lost ground in the digital music market with the launch of its own streaming service, Apple Music.

  • Greek operator OTE S.A. , which is 40% owned by Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), is to shed another 800 jobs, reports Reuters. The redundancies, which will be made under a voluntary scheme, are just the latest in the series of more than 3,000 OTE job losses that have occurred since 2012, as the Greek economy continues to languish in the doldrums.

  • Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) is launching voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) services in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, with WiFi calling to follow later in the summer.

  • A group of technology startups and vendors have been invited to BT's Adastral Park campus in Ipswich, UK to take part in the development of new products and services that are based on quantum research. The plan is to exploit the fundamental laws of quantum physics for the development of secure communications technologies. Sounds like one for this feller

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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