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Regulation

Eurobites: Roaming Charges Likely to Stay Until 2018

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telekom Austria introduces LTE-based smart meters; former Virgin Media execs take AIM at turnarounds; Ericsson's small cells go Dutch.

  • European member states have agreed to attempt to push back the removal of roaming charges within the EU to at least 2018, flying in the face of EU lawmakers, the European Parliament, who proposed removing the charges in 2016. The member states, operating under the Latvian Presidency of the Council, are also seeking a compromise on net neutrality, saying in a statement that "agreements on services requiring a specific level of quality will be allowed," while adding that "operators will have to ensure the quality of Internet access services." The Presidency will now negotiate the terms of the regulation with the European Parliament. To become law, the act must be approved by both the Council and the Parliament, so nothing is signed and sealed just yet.

  • Telekom Austria Group has implemented what it says is Europe's first 4G/LTE smart meter program, in conjunction with ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) and Kaifa. The meter's communication module supports both 4G/LTE (2600MHz and 800MHz) and 2G (1800MHz and 900MHz) technologies.

  • A former finance director of Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) is setting up an investment vehicle to acquire ailing businesses in the telecom, media and technology sectors, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). Eammon O'Hare, along with several other former Virgin Media executives, is setting up Zegona, and plans to raise £30 million on London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) to help fund his enterprise turnaround program.

  • Middle East operator Ooredoo has joined Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF)'s Partners Program, with a particular focus on making savings through joint procurement.

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has implemented indoor small cell basestations throughout Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD)'s stores in the Netherlands. The RBS 6402 basestation, says Ericsson, complements its Radio Dot system, which Vodafone and Ericsson have previously put through its paces at Radboud University. (See Eurobites: Ericsson's Radio Dot Goes Live.)

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is creating 1,000 new apprenticeships and graduate jobs for young Brits, with many of the positions on offer based at BT's Adastral Park research center in Suffolk.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • Susan Fourtané 3/5/2015 | 11:48:17 PM
    Re: good news! Nasimson, Indeed. News about creation of jobs is not common. It is refreshing to hear about this after all the lay offs in the past year. - Susan
    nasimson 3/5/2015 | 11:06:28 AM
    good news! > BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is creating 1,000 new apprenticeships
    > and graduate jobs for young Brits, with many of the positions on offer based
    > at BT's Adastral Park research center in Suffolk.

    This is a refreshing piece of news after a very long time. 1,000 new apprentices is a BIG number. I hope other telecoms will follow!

     
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