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Euronews: O2 Lands £1.5B Smart Meter Rollout

Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), Telia Carrier , BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) and Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) lead the charge in today's assault on the EMEA headlines.

  • Telefónica UK Ltd. , which operates under the O2 brand, has been selected as the preferred mobile services supplier for a £1.5 billion (US$2.33 billion) smart meter contract by the UK government's Department of Energy and Climate Change as part of the nationwide Smart Meter Implementation Programme. Telefónica's share of the contract covers the UK's central and southern regions, while Arqiva landed a £625 million ($974 million) deal to cover the northern portion. Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), which was also bidding for the work, missed out. (See O2 Makes Smart-Meter Move.)

  • TeliaSonera International Carrier (TIC) has expanded its 100G network to Slough, the UK town that is home to The Office mock-doc and swathes of dismal post-war architecture. The Nordic carrier will have a new Point-of-Presence in Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX)'s LD5 International Business Exchange data center. (See Euronews: TIC Makes It a 100G Double.)

  • Telefónica's plan for a joint e-commerce venture with CaixaBank and Banco Santander on its home soil has been given the all-clear by the European Commission. It is envisaged that the joint venture will develop a "virtual community" for retailers and consumers in Spain, providing services such as digital advertising and data analytics to the former and "digital wallets" to the latter.

  • BT and Virgin Media have made our editor-in-chief's day by signing a deal that will bring -- at no extra cost -- BT's much trumpeted new TV sports content to Virgin subscribers who take the MSO's XL package. Virgin will also offer the sports channels as a standalone premium service to customers who did not opt for the XL package. So sit back, Ray, and enjoy the Ultimate Fighting Championship and all the Moto GP qualifiers. We just know your other half's looking forward to it.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • Carol Wilson 8/15/2013 | 11:37:00 AM
    Re: Smart meter backlash I actually took the smart meter plunge 2-3 years ago but only briefly. We'd agreed to allow ComEd to shut off our AC for up to 45-minutes at a time during peak usage hours in exchange for a bill credit. I talked my family into it but then the smart meter installer botched the job and shut down our AC completely on a 90-plus degree day. For the 14 hours it took to get someone back here to fix the situation, I was not a very popular person. 

    So bottom line, I think these are a great idea but I also understand the resistance. The transition has to be carefully handled. 
    Sarah Thomas 8/15/2013 | 10:07:04 AM
    Smart meter backlash My dad's friend is on a "smart meter" comittee in his suburb where they are rolling them out. It was interesting to hear him talk about all the resistance to installing them. Some if it was from the local wackos who were concerned about WiFi signals frying their brains, but a lot were also concerned about the level of information it gave service providers, perhaps even the government, on their activities. I figured they would be embraced if they could bring about cost savings, but sounds like some people have real, and not so real, concerns about them.
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