Eurobites: Which? takes on Qualcomm over smartphone chip charges

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: EU wants to extend roaming regulation for another ten years; Tele2 and Equinix cozy up for secure IoT; Sparkle to supply cloud services to GÉANT.

  • A high-profile UK consumer rights organization is looking to win up to £30 (US$42) each in compensation for around 29 million Brits who bought certain Apple and Samsung smartphones since October 1, 2015. As the BBC reports, the legal claim is being brought by Which? against Qualcomm on the grounds that the chip giant, no stranger to the law courts, overcharged manufacturers. These excess charges, £480 million ($678 million) in total, says Which?, were then passed on to consumers. Not surprisingly, Qualcomm is dismissive of the claim, saying that it has "no basis." (See Eurobites: WTF? says Which? over UK mobile ops' 'rip-off' practices.)

  • The European Commission is proposing that the EU's roaming rules, which enable travelers within the EU bloc to "roam like at home" and are due to expire next year, be extended for another ten years. The existing roaming regulation was introduced in 2017 and, since then, the Commission says that around 170 million UK citizens have been able to take advantage of it, with the use of data roaming increasing 17-fold in the summer of 2019. (See Roam Like at Home: The Impact After One Year, Roaming Fees Could Return, Warns UK Government on Brexit Day and Eurobites: UK Vows to Keep EU Roaming Free Post Brexit.)

  • Nordic operator Tele2 has launched a dedicated-fiber offering called Private Interconnect in partnership with Equinix. Private Interconnect allows Tele2's IoT customers concerned about security to connect to Equinix's global interconnection service, Equinix Fabric, avoiding the public Internet.

  • Sparkle, the international services arm of Telecom Italia, has been named as an OCRE Cloud Framework provider by GÉANT, the pan-European network and services provider for research and education. Under the terms of the agreement, Sparkle will offer cloud and related services to research and education institutions in the 27 countries of the European Union.

  • Ireland's Eir saw revenue fall 5% year-on-year in its fiscal second quarter, to €297 million ($363.2 million), though EBITDA remained stable at €147 million ($179 million). In terms of subscriber numbers, postpaid mobile customers were up 16%, to 815,000, while broadband subscriber numbers inched up 2%, to 969,000, 82% of them connected to Eir's fiber network.

  • UKCloud, which specializes in cloud services for the public sector, has announced a new partner program. Any company interested in becoming a partner should click here.

  • Belgium's Proximus has today confirmed that it has completed the acquisition of BICS, its international carrier services arm. Proximus had earlier reached an agreement with MTN and Swisscom, previously the two minority shareholders of BICS, on the acquisition of their respective stakes of 20.0% and 22.4% in BICS for a total cash consideration of €217 million ($265.4 million).

  • Ireland's data protection commissioner, Helen Dixon, has warned that data transfers between the EU and the US could face "massive disruptions" following a European court ruling last year. As Reuters reports, Europe's highest court ruled in July that an EU-US data transfer agreement was invalid. (See Is Facebook facing the end of EU-US data transfers? and Eurobites: Privacy Shield Gets EU Go-Ahead.)

  • From today, new signups to Virgin Media's Ultimate Oomph TV package can add Sky Entertainment and Sky Cinema Ultra HD for an additional £6 ($8.48) per month.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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