Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Liberty Global hikes European prices; TeliaSonera sounds warning; UK and US play cyber war games.
UK regulator Ofcom has launched a consultation on 5G, asking those with a vested interest in the development of the technology for their input so that the regulator can "better understand the advantages and disadvantages of different bands above 6 GHz." (See Eurobites: 5G Consortium Sets Out Its Vision, 5G by 2020: Too Much, Too Soon? and EE: The Road to 5G.)
Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) is raising its prices across its European footprint and raising consumers' hackles in the process, according to a Broadband TV News report. Subscriptions to Ziggo B.V. , its Dutch unit, are going up by between 1.5% and 6.4% on March 1; in the UK, Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) is increasing its landline and bundle charges by between ₤1 and ₤4.50 a month; and in Belgium Telenet customers protested against average price rises of 5% announced before Christmas. (See Eurobites: Liberty Merges Euro Operations.)
Cable group Altice is going cap in hand to creditors to raise funding for its planned acquisition of Portuguese telecoms assets from Brazilian operator Oi, according to this report from Reuters. Rival bids from private equity players Apax Partners and Bain Capital forced Altice to increase its offer in December, and the company now finds itself having to borrow heavily to fund the deal.
Nordic operator Telia Company has sounded the alert that its full-year earnings, to be released on January 29, will be dented by non-recurring items worth 2.23 billion Swedish kronor (US$274 million) and related to goodwill and other fixed assets in Tajikistan, Georgia and Moldova.
UK triple-play provider Sky has turned to a SIP-based customer experience platform from British firm Genesys to handle the 150,000-plus calls made to its contact centers each day.
The UK government is planning to hook up with the US to stage some "war game" cyber attacks on a range of potential targets on both sides of the Atlantic, including the Bank of England, the City of London and Wall Street, reports the BBC. The announcement comes following talks held between UK Prime Minister David Cameron and President Obama. Cameron caused controversy earlier this week when, referring to cyber attacks, he said that there should be no "means of communication" that "we cannot read."
French regulator Arcep has a new chairman in the shape of Sébastien Soriano, a qualified chief engineer with a background in competition and telecom regulation. His stated mission: to begin a "new cycle" of telecom regulation. Uh-oh.
Russian operator Rostelecom is to acquire a controlling stake in data center firm SafeData, reports Reuters.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading