Mobile services

Eurobites: EU Probes Dutch T-Mobile/Tele2 Deal

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: ADVA goes quantum crazy; Dixons Carphone gets hacked; tech investment boost for UK; La Liga caught snooping.

  • The European Commission is launching an in-depth investigation into the proposed takeover of Tele2 Netherlands by Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) 's Dutch T-Mobile operation. It is concerned about the deal on a number of counts, chief among them being the reduction in the number of mobile operators in the Netherlands from four to three and the implications of that for competition in the market. It is also worried that existing mobile virtual network operators will have difficulty in obtaining favorable wholesale access terms from the combined entity, should the deal take place. The merged entity would become the third-largest player in the Netherlands after KPN Mobile and Ziggo B.V. The Commission now has 90 working days in which to make a decision on the deal. (See T-Mobile Netherlands to Merge With Tele2.)

  • ADVA Optical Networking has gone quantum crazy. Yesterday we heard how the German optical vendor was providing the guts of an "ultra-secure" quantum-technology powered network trial at BT's labs in Ipswich; today ADVA is trumpeting two more demonstrations of the technology, which uses individual photons to supposedly make Internet transmissions unhackable. In Norway, ADVA is presenting what it says is the first showcase of 100Gbit/s "quantum-safe" optical communication over a long-haul network. The trial link ran for 2,800km between Poznan, Poland, and Trondheim, Norway, and covered multi-operator optical transport in three separate research and education networks. And in Cambridge, UK, ADVA says its FSP 3000 optical platform is the lynchpin of what it claims is the UK's first quantum network, built by the University of Cambridge and based on the city's metro transport system. ADVA says the openness of the FSP 3000 platform, which can accept encryption keys from third-party systems using standard protocols, is a crucial factor in the smooth running of such a network. (See Eurobites: BT Claims Quantum Leap in Internet Security.)

  • Less than unhackable, unfortunately, are the IT systems of Dixons Carphone , the UK mobile phone and electricals retailer. As Reuters reports, it has revealed a major data breach, with the payment card details of 5.9 million customers apparently being accessed, as well as 1.2 million records containing non-financial personal data such as names, addresses and email addresses. The company's shares were down 5% in early trading this morning in the wake of the news.

  • UK Prime Minister Theresa May took time out from Brexit-related shenanigans to announce this morning that three technology firms are to make a combined investment of more than £2 billion (US$2.66 billion) in the UK, creating 1,600 jobs in the process. As the BBC reports, enterprise cloud giant Salesforce.com Inc. is pumping £1.9 billion ($2.53 billion) into Britain over the next five years (opening its second UK data center in 2019), Japan's NTT Data Corp. is investing £41 million ($54.6 million) in a new office and an innovation center, and the UAE's state-owned sovereign wealth fund Mubadala is launching a £300 million ($399 million) European investment fund, which will be based in the UK.

  • La Liga, the organization running Spain's top-flight soccer league, has run into trouble for "spying" on users of its app, Techcrunch reports, citing El Pais. It seems the La Liga app was sneakily using a combination of access to the user's smartphone microphone and its precise GPS-revealed location in a clumsy attempt to catch bars and other venues broadcasting La Liga matches without a license to do so. In PR terms, you could probably call it an own goal.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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