Euronews: Ofcom Slams Obstructive UK Operators

Ofcom , Nokia Networks and Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) crank up the news engine in today's chug through the EMEA telecom headlines.

  • The head of Ofcom, the U.K. regulator, has turned his fire on the country's mobile operators, accusing them of "holding back innovation and hampering growth'" reports The Guardian. Ed Richards told a conference in Brussels that the operators' constant threats of litigation mean that the U.K. will be Europe's chief LTE laggard. (See Euronews: Concern Over UK LTE Auction Plan and UK Plots 4G Spectrum Auction .)

  • Nokia Siemens Networks has helped Telefónica build a new US$30 million R&D center in the Ixtlahuaca Technology Park in Mexico, according to El Economista.

  • Also on the Telefónica front: This week the Spanish giant is showing its credentials in the machine-to-machine (M2M) market by presenting its vision of the "smart cities" of the future at Smart City Expo in Barcelona. Think Fritz Lang's Metropolis with added tapas. (See Telefónica Embraces the Smart City, Wireless Chiefs Talk up M2M, Telefonica Restructures, Creates New Units and Telefonica, Masternaut Team on M2M.)

  • What if they gave a mobile auction and nobody came? That's more or less what happened in Bulgaria, where the auction of a license in the 2GHz band got cancelled due to lack of bidders, reports Telegeography.

  • Cash-strapped Greek operator OTE S.A. is in talks to sell its 20 percent stake in Serbia's Telekom Srbija a.d. back to the country's government, reports Reuters. (See OTE Cuts Pay, OTE Reports Q2 and Euronews: DT Ups Its Hellenic Holding.)

  • The BBC reports that U.K. Chancellor George Osborne used his autumn statement on Tuesday to promise, among other things, £100 million (US$156 million) in funding to bring "world leading superfast broadband" to London, Belfast, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and six other cities to be added to the list at a later date. (See Great Britain? I Don't Think So and ISPs Shamed by UK Broadband Speed Tests.)

  • Move over, Worzel Gummidge ... T-Mobile (UK) says that a brainstorming session carried out with a dozen British farmers came up with an idea for a smartphone-controlled scarecrow. Fill in your own joke HERE. (See Scarecrow App Takes Flight.)

    Elsewhere in EMEA news:

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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