Eurobites: Vodafone Trials DB-HSDPA in Spain

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: EU weighs in on Spanish TV compensation scheme; Ofcom abandons Premier League probe; Alipay finds retail partners in Europe.

  • Vodafone España S.A. and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. have completed what they claim is the world's first commercial implementation of dual-band High Speed Downlink Packet Access (DB-HSDPA) technology, combining the UMTS 900MHz and UMTS 2100MHz bands to offer increased throughput and a better subscriber experience.

  • The European Commission has ruled that a Spanish government scheme to compensate terrestrial private broadcasters for having to carry out parallel broadcasting during the switchover from an analog to a digital platform was unfair to alternative platforms such as satellite, cable and IPTV. Spain has now completed the frequency switch and the broadcasters have financed the "simulcast" themselves, without any state aid.

  • UK regulator Ofcom has decided to abandon its investigation into how English soccer's Premier League sells rights to screen live matches, saying that its resources "could be used more effectively on other priorities." The investigation was instigated by cable operator Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED), which made a formal complaint to Ofcom in 2014 about the way live rights are auctioned. Virgin, as the only UK broadcaster that shows Premier League matches that have been "bought" by Sky and BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), has welcomed the Premier League's recent decision to screen 22 more live matches per season.

  • Alipay, a subsidiary of Chinese Internet giant Alibaba Group , is signing deals with European retailers so that it can make its mobile wallet app more attractive to Chinese travelers, Bloomberg reports. Alipay, which boasts 450 million users, has been in discussions with the likes of France's Printemps and Germany's Wirecard.

  • UK altnet CityFibre is trumpeting the success of its fiber rollout in Edinburgh, the Scottish capital that is currently hosting its crowd-pulling annual arts festival. The company says it is on course to complete the rollout by the end of September, by which time it will have reached more than 300 public sector sites, including schools, libraries and office buildings. The project has been carried out in partnership with Commsworld, an Edinburgh-based network service provider. (See Eurobites: CityFibre Forges Ahead and CityFibre's Gigabit Vision.)

  • Telefónica has extended its enterprise managed mobility (EMM) agreement with Brazil's Navita so that it covers Telefónica's multinational customers. The two companies are already working together in Brazil.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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