Eurobites: Orange Tells Govt to Back Off

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: TeliaSonera, Telenor fight their corner; carrier aggregation in the Middle East; Telefónica's IoT buttons.

  • Orange (NYSE: FTE) CEO Stéphane Richard wants the French government to keep its nose out of the French telecom market, or at least not stick it in quite so often. As the Financial Times reports (subscription required), he was speaking in the run-up to a Bouygues board meeting that would decide whether or not to accept a takeover bid from Altice, a deal that the French economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, had already made it clear his government had major reservations about. (Bouygues declined the offer.) Richard said that mergers and acquisitions were essentially the business of the country's antitrust authority, and the "government has really no tools in its hands to prevent this." (See Bouygues Says 'Non' to Altice.)

  • Telia Company and Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) have issued a formal response to the European Commission 's "statement of objections" to the proposed merger of the carriers' respective Danish operations. "Contrary to the concerns raised in the statement of objections we firmly believe the merger will ultimately be beneficial for competition and Danish consumers," say the aggrieved pair, adding that they "remain confident that the merger will be approved during the second half of 2015." (See TeliaSonera, Telenor to Merge Danish Operations .)

  • Zain KSA (Zain Saudi Arabia) and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. have launched what the Chinese vendor claims is the first commercial network in the world that relies on LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation technology in two frequency bands (Band 1 and Band 3). Huawei says that the new network has been doubled in capacity and the top downlink speeds raised from 75 Mbit/s to 150 Mbit/s.

  • Elsewhere in the Middle East, UAE operator Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co. (du) is launching LTE-Advanced services with the help of Nokia Networks , which has supplied its Flexi Multiradio 10 basestation and software to aggregate FDD-LTE bands 1800MHz and 800MHz.

  • Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) has high hopes for the Internet of Things, and its latest move in this sector sees it introducing two new "smart buttons" -- small (button-sized!) devices that enable companies (in this case taxi firm Cabify and shipping company SEUR) to offer their customers a one-click option for ordering services. Telefónica says the devices are "100% independent" and come with integrated, global SIMs that enable them to operate anywhere in the world. (See Eurobites: Telefónica, Samsung Team on IoT.)

    Button Knows
    One-click button simplifies customer ordering processes, claims Telefonica.
    One-click button simplifies customer ordering processes, claims Telefónica.

  • UK triple-play provider Sky has chosen a test automation offering from Ireland's Silicon Software & Systems Ltd. (S3) Group for its field engineers, who will use it to carry out tests on set-top boxes to deduce whether the fault is in the box or in the customer's in-home set-up.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • nasimson 6/29/2015 | 10:02:25 AM
    lesser competition? better? > "Contrary to the concerns raised in the statement of objections we
    > firmly believe the merger will ultimately be beneficial for competition
    > and Danish consumers," 

    How can lesser competition be better for Danish consumers? Beats me. Sounds like the corporate PR spin like 'if its good for GE, its good for americans'.
    Kruz 6/25/2015 | 7:43:44 AM
    Smart Buttons It seems hard seeing the use cases of the smart button; what services are set to benefit from such a device(other than the taxi)?
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