Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Orange told to play nice on FTTH rollout; Ericsson goes large on "massive IoT"; Centile heads for UK; Google tools up for legal fight with EU.
UK telco regulator Ofcom has imposed limits on the amount of spectrum each operator can win in the forthcoming auction of airwaves in the 5G-friendly 3.4GHz and 2.3GHz bands. The proposal -- which imposes a 37% ceiling on all useable spectrum that one operator can control -- seeks to promote competition by limiting the amount of spectrum the two biggest mobile players, EE (part of the BT Group) and Vodafone UK , can lay their hands on. However, Ofcom did not go far enough for rival operator 3, which had been hoping for a 30% ceiling and dismissed Ofcom's proposal as "a kick in the teeth for all consumers." (See UK's 3 Huffs & Puffs That It's Short of Air.)
Across the water, in France, regulator Arcep has concluded that it will not be necessary to subject incumbent Orange to a specific set of obligations in order to achieve a more level playing field for the rollout of fixed standard and "superfast" broadband. Orange will, however, have to deliver regular reports to ARCEP on how inter-operator connectivity in the FTTH market is progressing, revise its approach to colocation and backhaul, and come up with a way for alternative operators to resell the access products for the business market that it already sells, based on its FTTH network.
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) is hoping to cash in on what it terms "massive IoT" with a set of network services that are intended to help service providers deploy and operate the plethora of IoT devices that are being connected to LTE networks. The services are applicable for Cat-M1 (also known as LTE-M) and NB-IoT technologies.
Centile, the French developer of unified communications systems for operators and integrators, is expanding into the UK. As part of the plan, Justin Hamilton-Martin will act as UK business development director. Centile says it supports approximately 100 service providers in 20 countries with its advanced UC, IP Centrex and fixed mobile convergence products.
Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is busy assembling an OJ-style legal "dream team" in Brussels to help it fight the €2.4 billion ($2.7 billion) fine imposed on it by EU antitrust authorities, Reuters reports. The finest minds of at least five top legal firms are being tapped, according to the report. The whopping fine was issued to Google last month for what the authorities saw as its unfair promotion of its own shopping-comparison service in its search engine results, at the expense of rival services. (See Eurobites: EU Fines Google $2.7B Over Shopping Shenanigans.)