Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Russia fines Google over Android antics; Sky invests in TV rights tool; France takes on encrypted messaging services.
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has signed an agreement with China Telecom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CHA) for the expansion of the operator's 4G network across 19 provinces, deploying its Flexi MultiRadio basestations and supplying project management and other associated services. China Telecom, which operates the smallest of China's three mobile networks in terms of customer numbers and favors the FDD flavor of 4G, had 90 million 4G customers at the end of June, up from 58 million in December. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed. (See China Mobile's 4G Boom Fuels Profit Growth.)
Russia's anti-monopoly authority has fined Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) $6.8 million for what it says are violations of its competition rules in relation to Google's deployment of its Android operating system on mobile phones. As the Financial Times reports (subscription required), the authority felt that the search giant was illegally forcing smartphone makers to pre-install Google apps at the expense of similar products from other software companies. Google is already under investigation by the European Commission for what Brussels sees as similar offences, and has until September 7 to make its case. (See Euronews: EU Probes Google's Android Deals.)
Sky is teaming up with UK broadcaster Channel 4 to invest in TRX, a TV rights startup that is looking to raise £5.2 million ($6.7 million) in its latest funding round. TRX is a tool that enables TV rights buyers and sellers around the world to complete licensing deals online. It "soft launched" in Asia last month, and already carries more than 5,000 hours of programming from UK and US distributors.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve is to meet up with his German counterpart to plan a global initiative against the use of encrypted messaging services by terrorist groups, Reuters reports. The killer of French priest Father Jacques Hamel in Rouen last month was known to have communicated with followers on Telegram, a messaging service widely used in the Middle East and elsewhere.
Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) is to update its TiVo TV platform, adding a number of new features such as Series Link+, which finds related episodes of recorded series and collects them in one folder called, inevitably, "My Shows." Virgin, which serves up "quad-play" service to cable customers in the UK and Ireland, is currently in the throes of its Project Lightning program, expanding its network to reach 17 million premises by the end of 2019.