Eurobites: MVNOs Spark Austrian Price War

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: European IaaS attracts investors; MTN strike rumbles on; Ericsson lands BBC deal.

  • Increased competition from MVNOs in the Austrian mobile market is dampening down prices, according to a Reuters report. Permission for Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (Hong Kong: 0013; Pink Sheets: HUWHY)'s acquisition of Orange Austria in 2013 was only granted after the Hong Kong based group agreed to grant wholesale access to its network to up to 16 MVNOs.

  • The promise of stable, recurring revenues is increasingly attracting investment in the European infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) market, according to a new study from Frost & Sullivan . The study also found that consortia of venture capital companies account for a significant proportion of such investments.

  • South Africa's MTN Group Ltd. is still at loggerheads with its labor unions, reports Reuters. Employees of the company in the Communication Workers Union (CWU) rejected MTN's latest offer of an 8% pay rise because it was tied to what the union saw as unrealistic performance targets. MTN has had to close several of its contact centers as the strike continues.

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has landed a seven-year playout services deal with the BBC, the UK's public services broadcaster. Let's hope, for Ericsson's sake, the BBC lasts that long

  • Japan's SoftBank Corp. has increased its stake in Supercell, the Finnish games developer, reports YLE. SoftBank now owns 73.2% of Supercell, up 22.7% from the 50.2% slice it held previously.

  • France's Oberthur Technologies has been chosen to supply its LTE Discovery SIM card to Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s subscribers in the US. According to the vendor, the card enables easier and more secure activation of subscribers' devices after they are bought from Sprint. Operator files contained in the card also allow handsets to "roam intelligently," in line with pre-defined roaming agreements.

  • Swrve, the US-based specialist in mobile marketing automation, has opened a new European data center, which will allow its customers to retain mobile data within the borders of the European Union, thereby eliminating potential legal and regulatory risks associated with the transfer overseas of European app users' personal data.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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