Eurobites: Vodafone Slams 'Snoopers' Charter'

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BT to keep EE brand; Enea buys Centred Logic; carrier aggregation testing breakthrough; Slovak Telecom converges its billing.

  • Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) has become the latest company to take issue with the UK government's proposed Draft Investigatory Powers Bill, reports City AM, saying in a submission to the committee consulting on the legislation that the new powers proposed by the bill would be a "major imposition on the freedom of an operator." Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo and Microsoft have all already made submissions to the same committee about what some have dubbed the "snoopers' charter."

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is to retain EE as its main mobile brand following the completion of its £12.5 billion ($18.2 billion) takeover of the mobile operator, according to a report from the Financial Times newspaper (subscription required). The BT Mobile brand under which BT currently sells mobile services will be used strictly to promote lower-cost offerings, according to the report, which cites sources close to the matter. BT is awaiting final regulatory approval of the deal, which is expected to materialize within the next two weeks, according to the Financial Times. (See BT Locks Down £12.5B EE Takeover Deal.)

  • Sweden's Enea AB has agreed to acquire Centered Logic, a network management system vendor based in New Hampshire. Enea will get its hands on ElementCenter, Centered Logic's software platform that helps operators, network equipment manufacturers, NFV developers and systems integrators to develop network management solutions for physical as well as software-defined networks. The deal will cost Enea $1.3 million upfront, with an earn-out component over three years capped at $2.2 million. (See Enea Acquires Centered Logic for Network Functions Management.)

  • UK-based Cobham Wireless has announced that its TM500 network test system now supports the validation of 4G networks and basestations using carrier aggregation of up to five individual component carriers (5CC), potentially enabling mobile operators to introduce 1Gbit/s LTE-A services more quickly.

  • Slovak Telekom is expanded its relationship with Netcracker Technology Corp. by contracting the US-based vendor to bring its fixed and mobile billing process onto a single platform. The operator will use NetCracker's Revenue Management offering.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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