Mobile services

Eurobites: Orange Hit by €350M Fine

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: AlcaLu takes the train; Huawei makes hay on handsets; TalkTalk bolsters TV team.

  • Orange (NYSE: FTE) has been fined €350 million (US$379.5 million) by France's competition authority for using unfair mobile loyalty schemes to discourage its customers from using its rivals' services, reports Reuters. Orange does not dispute the fine, and is cooperating with the authority on the matter.

  • Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) is to supply its IP and optical networking technologies for SBB, the Swiss national rail organization, for use on its Datacom NG network project. The plan is that the new network will support all SBB's information and communication systems, including train control systems and Internet services for passengers. (See Swiss National Rail Upgrades With Alcatel-Lucent.)

  • Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is celebrating the fact that the sales of its Consumer Business Group, which deals in handsets and other devices, exceeded $2 billion in western Europe in 2015 -- a year-on-year revenue increase of more than 45%. According to sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech cited by Huawei, the Chinese giant is now the second-largest Android brand in five western European countries.

  • UK broadband provider TalkTalk has bolstered its pay-TV executive team with two new appointments: Aleks Habdank, previously Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED)'s director of digital entertainment, becomes TalkTalk's chief operating officer; and Joe Eldridge, formerly director of Amazon Instant Video, becomes TV engineering director. TalkTalk's pay-TV business has attracted its fair share of customer complaints in recent months, so the company is presumably hoping that the new recruits will steady the ship.

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has extended its patent license agreement with Samsung Corp. for five years (dating back to January 1, 2014), and the two parties are entering into binding arbitration to settle the amount of additional compensation payable to Nokia. Samsung has been accused of effectively ripping off intellectual property by a number of major vendors in Europe, not least Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), which settled a dispute with Samsung in 2014. (See Microsoft & Samsung Bury Hatchet.)

  • MTN Ghana has won a 4G license in the country's latest spectrum auction, reports Reuters. The award comes with a condition, however: the operator is required to have a minimum of 35% Ghanaian ownership in place within 13 months from the effective date of the license.

  • German state broadcaster Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR) has deployed ADVA Optical Networking 's FSP 3000 optical transport offering, which, claims ADVA, eliminates the need for encoding and decoding, and gets around the problem of a loss of quality caused by compression.

  • Nordic operator Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) has proposed Gunn Wærsted, a top executive at Nordea Bank, as the new chair of the Telenor board. The operator's Corporate Assembly will consider the proposal today.

  • Telensa, a specialist in Ultra Narrow Band (UNB) wireless technology, has begun work on a smart city project covering 55,000 LED streetlights in the English county of Gloucestershire. The streetlights will be wirelessly connected and controlled by Telensa's PLANet Central Management System. Telensa claims the project will deliver savings of around £17 million ($25.3 million) over 12 years and reduce annual energy consumption by 7,000 carbon tonnes.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • jabailo 12/17/2015 | 1:56:09 PM
    Doing business Based on how they treat Microsoft and Google, getting fined by Europe could also be called "Doing business"!


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