Eurobites: Court upholds Swisscom's $73.4M pay-TV fine

Also in today's EME regional roundup: Sparkle connects Benetton; Three hikes prices for pay-as-you-go customers; Salt savors network success in Switzerland.

  • A Swiss court has upheld the CHF71.8 million (US$73.4 million) fine imposed on Swisscom and Cinetrade (now Blue Entertainment) by Switzerland's Competition Commission in 2016 for alleged unlawful conduct relating to the marketing of sports content on pay-TV between 2006 and 2012. Swisscom says it will now analyze the impact of the Federal Administrative Court's decision in greater depth and is considering an appeal. Swisscom's guidance for the financial year 2022 remains unchanged.

  • Sparkle, the IT services arm of Telecom Italia (TIM), has signed an agreement with 1980s throwback Benetton to better connect its various offices, shops and production sites worldwide. Sparkle's SD-WAN offering will be at the heart of the new private network architecture.

  • Three UK appears to have dealt a blow to the concept of digital inclusion with its announcement of massive price increases for pay-as-you-go customers, who tend to be people on low incomes and/or elderly. As the Guardian reports, the cost of a call will more than double, from 10p to 35p a minute, while the cost of texts and data will also soar. The price increases only affect those pay-as-you-go customers who top up their credit as and when required, as opposed buying monthly "data packs." Three has 1.6 million pay-as-you-go customers in the UK.

  • Swiss mobile operator Salt is tooting its own trumpet again after being ranked the top network in Switzerland and second out of 82 tested operators worldwide by 5GMark, a mobile performance test platform. The average download speed measured was 139.0 Mbit/s and the average upload speed was 16.1 Mbit/s.

  • Telefónica Tech, Telefónica's digital business unit, has hooked up with Cisco for a new managed service that embraces SD-WAN, security and secure access service edge (SASE) architectures. The deal, says Telefónica, has been prompted by the shift to hybrid/remote working and the attendant need to forge more secure connections from employees' devices to the corporate mothership.

  • In great news for acronym fans, Germany's ADVA has launched what it says is the market's first NFV management and orchestration (MANO) platform delivered through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. The new offering, called Ensemble SaaS MANO, can be purchased by companies through a subscription model.

  • The UK government has no plans to follow the lead of the European Union and insist on a common charging port for mobile phones and other devices, according to a BBC report. EU technocrats have provisionally agreed that all new portable electronic devices must, by the fall of 2024, use a USB-C charging port, much to the disgruntlement of Apple, which foists the proprietary Lightning charging port/cable on users of its iPhone. (See EU to phonemakers: Come up with common charger.)

  • Belgium's Proximus has teamed up with investment company La Petite Merveille (LPM) to bring better fixed-line and mobile connectivity to the picturesque town of Durbuy in the country's Walloon region. Fiber rollout to the town will be accelerated, while 5G will be activated in the old town district without, promises Proximus, overly disfiguring the cute old buildings located there.

    Durbuy: The prettiest Belgian town you've never heard of. 
(Source: Michael Maga-ao on Unsplash)
    Durbuy: The prettiest Belgian town you've never heard of.
    (Source: Michael Maga-ao on Unsplash)

  • Virgin Media O2 is targeting the UK's small businesses with a new fiber broadband offering, Voom Gig1, which, as its name suggests, provides download speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s. It costs from £60 per month.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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