& cplSiteName &

Eurobites: EE, Virgin Media Fined £13.3M for Early-Exit Excesses

Paul Rainford
11/16/2018
50%
50%

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: MTN, Ericsson carry out 5G trial in South Africa; Orange CFO hints at market consolidation in France; Telia buys IT services outfit.

  • UK telecom regulator Ofcom has fined EE and Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) a combined £13.3 million (US$17.04 million) for imposing what it sees as excessive charges on customers who chose to leave their contracts early. EE, part of BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), must cough up £6.3 million ($8.1 million), having, in Ofcom's view, over-billed its customers by up to £13.5 million ($17.3 million) in early-exit charges. Virgin, meanwhile, was stung for £7 million ($8.9 million), despite overcharging fewer customers than EE. Understandably perhaps, Virgin feels aggrieved, believing Ofcom's decision to be "both unjustified and disproportionate." It now plans to appeal the decision in the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

  • MTN Group Ltd. and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) are carrying out what they claim is South Africa's first 5G customer trial, at the headquarters of technology company Netstar in Midrand, which is located between Johannesburg and Pretoria. The trial system operates on the 28GHz band, with a total operating bandwidth of 100MHz using Ericsson trial antenna integrated radio units and Intel's 5G Mobile Trial Platform providing fixed wireless access in the customer premises.

  • Orange (NYSE: FTE)'s CFO has told a conference in Barcelona that there will be a "window of opportunity" for consolidation in the French market in the first half of 2019, once the reallocation of frequency bands is completed at the end of this year. As Reuters reports, Ramon Fernandez said that Orange would not seek to drive a merger, but suggested that his company could be a "facilitator" for consolidation. Back in 2016 Orange attempted a €10 billion ($11.4 billion) takeover of French rival Bouygues Telecom, but the two companies failed to reach an agreement. (See End of the Bouygues Affair for Orange.)

  • Telia Company has agreed to buy AinaCom Oy, a Finnish IT services company that has around 60 employees and (in 2017) net sales of €15.5 million ($17.5 million). The operator hopes that the acquisition will give it more clout in the enterprise services market. Telia already owns AinaCom's consumer business and fixed networks, thanks to a deal in 2014. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

    (0)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
    Featured Video
    Flash Poll
    Upcoming Live Events
    April 8, 2019, Las Vegas, Nevada
    May 6, 2019, Denver, Colorado
    May 6-8, 2019, Denver, Colorado
    September 17-19, 2019, Dallas, Texas
    October 1, 2019, New Orleans, Louisiana
    October 2-22, 2019, Los Angeles, CA
    October 10, 2019, New York, New York
    November 5, 2019, London, England
    November 7, 2019, London, UK
    December 3-5, 2019, Vienna, Austria
    December 3, 2019, New York, New York
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
    Huawei Shows 5G in Action at MWC
    By Ken Wieland, for Huawei
    Huawei Heats Up Microwave for 5G Backhaul
    By Ken Wieland, for Huawei
    Huawei Services Bring the Best 5G Into Reality
    By Steven Wu, President of Consulting & Service Solution Sales Dept., Carrier BG, Huawei
    All Partner Perspectives