Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: EE turns on its TV service; Oi CEO steps down; Amazon's tax arrangements come under EC scrutiny.
Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) is conducting tests of LTE Advanced (or "4G+" as it prefers to call it), bundling three 4G/LTE frequencies together to offer theoretical speeds of up to 450 Mbit/s. The operator already offers its 4G+ service with speeds of up 300 Mbit/s in certain locations, and says that the cities of Berne, Biel, Lausanne, Zurich, Geneva, Lucerne, Lugano and Basel will all have access to these speeds by the end of 2014, with the (up to) 450 Mbit/s speeds becoming available to customers a year later.
EE , the mobile joint venture between Orange UK and T-Mobile (UK) , is going quad-play with the launch of EE TV. The service uses a Netgem -made set-top box that allows users to, among other things, stream live and recorded content directly from the EE TV box's hard drive using a remote app for iOS and Android. Up to four devices will be able to stream different content from the set-top at any one time, and a replay facility allows users to view the last 24 hours of TV from their chosen channels. Let's hope there's enough content to go round.
Following the news that French group Altice has designs on Portugal Telecom SGPS SA (NYSE: PT), the CEO of Portugal Telecom's Brazilian merger partner, Oi, has decided to step down. The departure of Zeinal Bava could, predicts Bloomberg, herald the break-up of the troubled merger. (See Eurobites: Altice Eyes Portugal Telecom Bid.)
Last week it was Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), and this week it's Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN)'s turn: The online retail giant's tax arrangements are about to get the third degree from the European Commission's competition wonks, who suspect that Amazon's tax set-up in Luxembourg is a little too cozy and, just possibly, anti-competitive. Curiously, Amazon's subsidiary in Luxembourg (population = 543,202) records most of the group's European profits. For more details of what the European Commission will be looking into, see this Commission statement.
UK mobile operator Three UK has been gently rapped on the knuckles -- to the tune of ₤250,000 (US$401,000) -- by Ofcom for failing to comply with the regulator's rules on handling customer complaints.
From time to time it's useful to have reminder that all this telecom technology can be a real force for good. Bloomberg reports that health workers in Nigeria dealing with the ebola virus have been equipped with mobile phones loaded with an Android app that reduces the previously paper-based reporting times of Ebola symptoms by as much as 75%. The app and most of the phones were provided by eHealth & Information Systems Nigeria, a California-based research non-profit that operates in the northern Nigerian city of Kano.
EE TV: Great, we're just in time for The Real Housewives of New Jersey!
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading