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Eurobites: London Lags Other UK Cities in Mobile Network Quality

Paul Rainford
9/26/2019

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Sunrise gets antitrust approval for UPC deal; France may get tough on tech titans; Ofcom tackles broadband pricing shenanigans.

  • London's mobile network experience sucks, relatively speaking. This is one of the findings of a new report from Tutela, which used more than 3 billion smartphone records collected in the UK between March 1 and August 31 to conclude that London ranked last among the UK ten largest cities in terms of mobile network quality. Among other findings, EE delivered the best mobile quality in eight of the ten cities tested, while Vodafone was deemed the best provider for "excellent consistent quality" in both Glasgow and Liverpool. "Excellent consistent quality" is a set of thresholds Tutela uses to determine whether a network is suitable for a range of different key uses like HD video streaming, group video calling and online multiplayer mobile gaming.

  • Sunrise has been given the green light by the Swiss antitrust authority for its $6.4 billion takeover of Liberty Global's UPC business, Reuters reports. The potential deal has faced a number of obstacles in its passage to date, not least the opposition of activist investor AOC and Freenet, Sunrise's biggest backer. (See Eurobites: Sunrise/Liberty Deal Catches More Flak, Liberty Global Holds Firm on Sunrise Deal and Storm Clouds Gather Over Sunrise's $6.4B Liberty Deal.)

  • Online giants such Amazon, Google and Apple may be forced to reveal how much profit they are making in France in response to suspicions that they are vastly understating the extent of their operations in the country. As Bloomberg reports, former government minister Mounir Mahjoubi said he may table an amendment requiring the disclosure of the relevant figures to a budget bill that is due to be discussed this week. (See Eurobites: EU Wants Tax Transparency From Tech Titans.)

  • UK communications regulator Ofcom has set out a range of measures that it hopes will help protect less market-savvy customers from being ripped off by broadband providers once they come out of contract. Included in the measures are a commitment from BT, Sky and TalkTalk to allow their out-of-contract customers to get the same deals as new customers when they take out a new contract. Ofcom found that around 40% of UK broadband customers (8.8 million) are out of contract, paying on average £8-9 ($10-11) more than those who sign a new deal with their current provider.

  • Enreach, the holding company of several telecom-related brands that was previously known as Within Reach, has acquired Network Telcom, a UK-based provider of business telephony and IT services. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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