Eurobites: Dutch operators remove high-end phones from stores after spate of armed robberies

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Orange plants its Totem; some Sky Glass users aren't happy; Telenor considers Pakistan stake sale.

  • KPN, VodafoneZiggo and T-Mobile have agreed to remove all high-end smartphones from their phone stores in the Netherlands after a spate of targeted armed robberies in these outlets in Amsterdam and the surrounding area. In a statement (in Dutch), the three operators said that they had taken this step because they put the safety and wellbeing of employees and customers first. The decision comes on top of earlier measures aimed at keeping the stores safe.

  • Orange has announced the "operational launch" of its European towers company, Totem. The new company's management and operation will be completely independent of Orange, following the transfer of all key passive mobile infrastructure assets (sites, land, leases and leases to third parties) to Totem. Initially, Totem will operate just in France and Spain. At Orange's Q3 results presentation in September, the operator insisted that it will continue to play an active role in the towers sector. (See Orange says towers high on agenda as Totem takes shape.)

  • Several users of the new Sky Glass TV set, which does away with the need for a satellite dish as it runs solely off the household's Internet connection, have taken to social media to expressed their frustration at a number of technical issues, such as screen flicker. As the BBC reports, Sky has said a software update will be released this week that it hopes will help address such problems. Sky Glass was launched with considerable fanfare last month, though some eyebrows were raised by the product's pricing – the cheapest (43-inch) model costs £649 (US$883). (See Sky applies smartphone-like buy-and-swap model to new 'Sky Glass' TVs.)

  • Norway's Telenor is considering the sale of its 55% stake in its Telenor Microfinance Bank operation in Pakistan. The bank was established in 2005 and launched the country's first mobile banking platform, Easypaisa, in 2009. In a statement, Telenor was keen to stress it's not a done deal: "There can be no assurance that a transaction will result from this process nor has any decision on the matter been made by the company. In the event Telenor is to enter into any transaction, the company will make the necessary disclosures."

  • Swisscom has come first in a test to find Switzerland's best 10Gbit/s broadband connections. The test was carried out by trade magazine Connect.

  • A new Digital Connectivity Index, which uses various OECD data points to measure how individuals and organizations in so-called developed countries can connect with one another and the rest of the world through high-quality Internet access, has placed Denmark at the top of the connectivity pile. As for Europe's "big four" countries, Spain and the UK shared the eighth-place spot, Germany was 12th and France 20th. The research for the index was carried out by Virgin Media O2 and data modeling company Oxford Analytica (not to be confused with Cambridge Analytica, god no).

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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