Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Apple revenues 20% up in Europe; Norwegian government cuts stake in Telenor; retailer goes OTT in France.
Will roaming charges within the European Union linger until 2018? That's the possibility raised by a proposal from Latvia -- which currently holds the EU presidency -- asking the European Commission to carry out a review of the EU's wholesale market, reports Reuters. Last year the European Parliament voted to end roaming charges within the EU by the end of 2015. (See EU Telecom Market, Sans Roaming Charges.)
Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) had a barnstorming fiscal first quarter overall, but how did it fare in Europe? Pretty well, it seems. Apple revenues in Europe hit $17.2 billion in the October-to-December quarter, up 20% compared with the same period of 2013, thanks to the continuing popularity of the iPhone. But revenue growth at Apple would have been four percentage points higher, according to Apple CFO Luca Maestri, were it not for currency volatility in a number of markets, including Russia and the Eurozone.
The Norwegian government is to cut its stake in Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) from 54% to 34%, reports Reuters.
Retailing giant Carrefour has teamed up with London-based Saffron Digital Ltd. to launch an OTT video service in France. The service, Nolim Films, will allow customers to rent or buy UltraViolet and non-UltraViolet content and add it to their digital library via smartphone, tablet, TV and PC. UltraViolet is a cloud-based digital rights library for movies and TV shows that allows consumers to stream and download licensed content to various platforms and devices. (See Carrefour Launches OTT Video Service With Saffron Digital.)
Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT) has launched a new LTE network in the 800MHz band covering Moscow and the surrounding area. The move, says the operator, means it can greatly expand its LTE coverage, allowing it to deploy 4G services in areas with bandwidth restrictions. Earlier this month MTS launched an LTE network in the 1800MHz band.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading