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Eurobites: Net Neutrality Debate Intensifies

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Germany's spectrum auction heats up; Telefónica closes GVT buy; Jolla sails into Africa.

  • European Union bigwigs are sitting down today to chew over draft proposals from Latvia -- which holds the "rotating presidency" of the EU -- calling for a strict interpretation of net neutrality principles. According to a Reuters report, next week sees the third round of negotiations between EU member states and the European Parliament on net neutrality and the eventual removal of roaming charges across the EU. (See Eurobites: Providers Square Up to Net Neutrality.)

  • Bids in Germany's mobile spectrum auction are looking perkier than some predicted, reports Reuters, with a bid total of €1.84 billion (US$2.01 billion) being reached within a couple of days. Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) has put in the highest bid to date, offering €105.74 million ($116 million) for a block of frequencies in the 900MHz band.

  • Telefónica has closed its €7.45 billion ($9.8 billion) acquisition of Brazil's GVT, creating, according to the Spanish carrier, Brazil's largest "integrated telecommunications company." (See Eurobites: Telefónica Seals Brazilian Deal.)

  • Jolla , the Finnish mobile company that was set up by former Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) employees, is launching its Sailfish operating system in South Africa. The company hopes to gather a group of African investors to help establish a full-on Sailfish "ecosystem" there, part of a wider plan to create one mobile platform for all the so-called BRICS countries.

  • Nokia Networks , in combination with Thales SA (Paris: TCFP.PA) and Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE), has landed a ten-year contract worth €339 million ($372 million) to modernize and maintain the communications system for Adif, Spain's national railway operator.

  • Superfast broadband (i.e. boasting a downlink speed of 30 Mbit/s or greater) is on the march in France, according to the latest figures from ARCEP. In the first quarter of this year, the number of superfast broadband subscriptions rose by 445,000 to reach 3.6 million, an increase of 1.3 million since Q1 2014. However, 86% of all broadband subscriptions in France still don't make the superfast grade. (See Europe Set to Miss Digital Deadline – Point Topic.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    Susan Fourtané
    Susan Fourtané,
    User Rank: Blogger
    5/31/2015 | 9:08:04 PM
    Roaming charges
    At this point, removal of roaming charges across the EU is necessary.
    Joe Stanganelli
    Joe Stanganelli,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/30/2015 | 11:42:57 PM
    LOL "strict"
    Here's the problem with adhering to a truly strict definition of net neutrality: it is technologically unfeasible. (link)
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