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Euronews: EC Wants More Wi-Fi Spectrum

The European Commission, Telecom Italia SpA, Liberty Global Inc. and Hutchison 3G UK Ltd. close out the week of regional news headlines.

  • A European Commisison study into the use of Wi-Fi services has found that 71 percent of all wireless data traffic in the European Union in 2012 was delivered to smartphones and tablets using Wi-Fi, and that this might rise to as much as 78 percent by 2016. As a result, the study recommends that spectrum from 5150 MHz to 5925 MHz should be made available globally for Wi-Fi as part of efforts to ensure data connectivity for wireless device users and help alleviate the pressure on mobile networks. "Wi-Fi is a huge success," stated Neelie Kroes, the European Commission's vice president for the Digital Agenda. "It's a win for everybody involved. I will make sure the European Commission helps to spread use of Wi-Fi through extra spectrum and lighter regulation." Extra spectrum and lighter regulation? That's quite a promise. For more details, see this EC announcement.

  • Telecom Italia confirmed its intention to spin off its access network as it announced a disastrous set of financials for the first half of 2013. The operator reported a net loss of €1.4 billion (US$1.85 billion) due to asset impairment costs and a 2.7 percent year-on-year decline in revenues to €13.76 billion ($18.2 billion). Its Latin American operations are propping the company up, as domestic revenues are in steep decline, as this press release shows. The Italian incumbent has had a torrid few years and is in desperate financial shape, as this Bloomberg report notes.

  • Cable services giant Liberty Global believes the acquisition of Virgin Media will deliver even greater financial efficiencies than originally envisaged. And it might be very thankful for those gains if the U.K. cable operator can't rediscover its sales growth mojo. (See Liberty Spies Greater Virgin Synergies.)

  • Hutchison 3G UK, which offers its mobile services under the '3' brand, confirmed that it plans to launch 4G services before the end of 2013 as it announced a 231 percent year-on-year increase in operating profit for the first half of 2013 to £86 million ($130.3 million) from revenues of £1 billion ($1.5 billion), up 9 percent from a year ago. The operator currently has 7.5 million active customers, a 10 percent increase compared with a year ago. Rival Telefónica UK Ltd., better known for its O2 brand, announced Thursday that it would launch its 4G services on Aug. 29. (See O2 Brings 4G Rivalry to the UK.)

    — Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

  • Ray Le Maistre 8/2/2013 | 11:17:24 AM
    re: Euronews: EC Wants More Wi-Fi Spectrum It's not just Wi-Fi that is important -- it's Carrier grade Wi-Fi, that can handle lots of users wanting to stream video and upload pictures. And, of course, there's the need for a business plan too.
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