Optical/IP Networks

Eurobites: Openreach isn't playing fair on pricing, complains Virgin Media O2

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: DAZN's plan for world domination; Etisalat's new man in UAE; mobile gaming in the UK.

  • Virgin Media O2, the recently merged UK operator that now sees fiber as its fixed-line future, has complained to regulator Ofcom that Openreach is threatening the viability of rival altnets through its overly generous discounts to broadband retailers seeking access to its wholesale network. As the Telegraph reports, Virgin believes the "Equinox" pricing framework sets a "dangerous precedent" that will deter investment in Openreach's rivals. Ofcom has provisionally ruled that the Equinox framework will not harm competition and, for the moment at least, plans to take no further action. Last month Virgin, which until now has been a DOCSIS aficionado, announced plans to upgrade its entire network to full-fiber technology by 2028 at an estimated cost of about £100 (US$140) per home passed.

  • The BBC has been chewing the fat with James Rushton, the boss of sports streaming upstart DAZN, and found him in bullish mood. According to Rushton, the company plans to expand into areas such as "wagering, betting, fantasy and commerce" to become a "sports destination platform" over the next 12 months. DAZN already holds the rights to top-flight soccer in Germany and Italy and recently agreed to a big boxing deal in the UK. Around 15 million people globally have now subscribed to DAZN's service, says the report.

  • New figures from the AfricanFinancials Group reveal that Kenyan operator Safaricom accounts for a whopping 49% of the combined market capitalization of the top 30 companies of East Africa and Mauritius. The only other telco in the top 30 ranking is Vodacom's Tanzanian operation. For more details, see this story on our sister site, Connecting Africa.

  • Etisalat Group has appointed Masood M. Sharif Mahmood as CEO of its UAE operations. Masood currently serves on the boards of Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat), the UAE Space Agency, and Etihad Aviation Group.

  • Smartphone-based gaming in the UK is set to generate $5 billion in revenue and reach 30 million users by 2025, according to a new study from something called SafeBettingSites.com. The study also found that the UK's mobile games penetration rate of 37.8% is the fourth highest in the world, just behind China. Makes you proud.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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