Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Jolla crowdsources a tablet; net neutrality wobble in EU; Israeli market opens up.
Russian operator MegaFon is collaborating with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. on a plan to build trial 5G networks in the run-up to the 2018 soccer World Cup, which, unless current political instabilities derail it, will be hosted in 11 of the largest Russian cities. Huawei will use technologies such as Sparse Code Multiple Access (SCMA), full duplex and cloud basestation in the proposed network. (See Huawei, MegaFon Team on 5G.)
Another day, another unexpected Finnish device: Hard on the heels of Tuesday's surprise announcement of a forthcoming Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) tablet (the N1), comes news of a tablet project from Jolla , the mobile devices vendor founded by former Nokia staffers. Described as the "world's first crowdsourcing project," the Jolla tablet will run on Sailfish, Jolla's proprietary operating system, though it will have Android application compatibility. Jolla expects to start shipping the tablet in the second quarter of 2015, initially to the early-bird "crowdfunders" who get in on the project by parting with a not-unreasonable-seeming US$189. (See Euronews: Jolla Claims a Sailfish Sellout and Jolla to Take on Apple & Android With OS Launch.)
European Union member states are putting pressure on EU lawmakers to draft looser rules on net neutrality, according to a Reuters report. Back in April, EU commissioners voted for strict net neutrality rules that forbad operators from prioritizing Internet traffic in any way, but a draft of new rules seen by Reuters suggests that only traffic management measures that "block, slow down, alter, degrade or discriminate against specific content" will be prohibited but that priority "fast lanes" for certain services might not be out of the question.
Israel is set to become a more competitive telecom market, as Bezeq, The Israel Telecommunications Corp. Ltd. (OTC: BZQIF), the country's largest telco, has been told it must lease its DSL infrastructure to rivals, reports Reuters.
Numericable-SFR , the French cable operator that is in the process of acquiring Vivendi 's SFR , says that its €4.7 billion ($5.89 billion) rights issue is 99.95% subscribed, reports Reuters. (See Eurobites: Numericable Funds SFR Buy With €4.7B Rights Issue and Eurobites: Numericable Wins SFR M&A Tussle.)
UK regulator Ofcom has decided to release 700MHz spectrum for mobile broadband services, a move that is likely to prove controversial as 700MHz is the band used by Freeview, the UK's ubiquitous digital terrestrial TV service, as well as wireless microphones of the type used at major outdoor events.
Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) is more gung-ho than most about the Internet of Things, and here's further proof: It has formed a partnership with Geotab, a provider of M2M fleet transport telematics technology, initially focused on the markets in Spain, Germany and the UK. (See Telefónica, Geotab Team Up on M2M Fleet Management and Telefónica Boasts More Than 250 M2M Partners.)
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading