Eurobites: Swiss Not Neutral on 5G

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: EC proposes wholesale roaming charge cuts; MBNL heads to Ireland for service assurance; Orange Money makes French connection.

  • The European 5G frenzy continues, and this time it's Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) getting together to launch the "5G for Switzerland" initiative, the usual collaborative effort that draws on industry partners and academia to drive the technology forward. The program forms a part of Ericsson's wider 5G for Europe program, which was launched in September 2015. Like many others in the industry, Swisscom hopes to have 5G up and running by 2020. (See Ericsson Offers Taste of 5G With 'Plug-In' Software Modules, Ericsson's CTO on a 5G Future and 5G: Hurdles on the Track.)

  • The European Commission is preparing the ground for next summer's removal of roaming charges within the EU by proposing a cut in wholesale roaming rates, reports Reuters. The recommendation is that the maximum wholesale rate should be 4 cents a minute for calls (current rate 5 cents), 1 cent per text message (currently 2 cents) and 0.85 cents per megabyte of data (currently 5 cents). MVNO Europe, the trade body representing mobile virtual network operators, has already complained that the proposed new limits are too high.

  • MBNL, the UK infrastructure joint venture set up by mobile operators EE and Three UK , has turned to Ireland's Eirteic for a unified service assurance platform. The project, says the vendor, will focus on "event and topology management" and dashboards to give MBNL staff a better overview of service performance.

  • Orange (NYSE: FTE) has launched its Orange Money to mobile subscribers in mainland France to allow them to carry out money transfers to Côte d'Ivoire, Mali and Senegal, as well as within France itself. More than 18 million customers in 14 African countries already use the service, which does not require the user to have a bank account.

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has announced that it is poised to cross the significant 95% share ownership threshold in its acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent, which allows it to "squeeze out" the remaining stock and bond holders.

  • Perform Group, a UK-based media company, is challenging Sky Deutschland Fernsehen GmbH & Co. KG and others with the launch of a multiscreen OTT subscription service for sports fans in Germany, Austria and Switzerland later this summer, reports Broadband TV News. The channel, DAZN, will screen soccer matches from the German Bundesliga and England's Premier League, as well as other sports such as tennis, ice hockey and darts.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • PaulERainford 6/16/2016 | 11:28:39 AM
    Re: Another reason to reject Brexit.... Come off the fence Ray, and say what you think. But look on the bright side: we will be able to buy bananas of any shape or size. And possibly buy Roquefort cheese made in Grimsby.
    [email protected] 6/16/2016 | 8:45:39 AM
    Another reason to reject Brexit.... Just as roaming rates are being eradicated across Europe, some Brits want out of the whole scheme and become an economic outcast.... could be time to move. (roaming rates are the least of the actual concerns, of course... complete financial meltdown, cultural civil war, rampant 'little England' mentalities and a brain drain like never seen before are greater concerns.)
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