Mobile services

Eurobites: Orange Tops French QoS Survey

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Google begins charging smartphone makers for app store access; TDC snaps up broadband provider; Swisscom's digital signature service makes the EU grade.

  • Orange (NYSE: FTE) comes up smelling of roses in the latest survey of French operators' quality of service by telco regulator Arcep . More than a million measurements in 2G, 3G and 4G were made throughout France, both inside and outside buildings. Orange topped the list overall, though in rural areas Bouygues Telecom prevailed in voice, SMS and data services. The laggard of the pack was Iliad's Free Mobile , which fell significantly behind the others on a large number of indicators.

  • Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is to start charging makers of smartphones sold in the European Economic Area for the right to access its Google Play app store as a quid pro quo for those manufacturers not having to pre-install Google search and the Google Chrome browser onto their devices. As Reuters reports, the move comes in response to the €4.34 billion (US$5 billion) fine imposed on Google by the European Union for what the EU views as Google's abuse of its market dominance in terms of how it controls the use of its Android operating system. (See Eurobites: EU Socks Google With $5B Monster-Fine for Android Control-Freakery.)

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  • Denmark's TDC A/S (Copenhagen: TDC) has agreed to buy Hiper, a Copenhaged-based broadband provider, for an undisclosed amount. According to TDC, the change of ownership will not entail any changes for Hiper's subscribers. Hiper has around 50 employees, and they will all stay on once the acquisition is completed at the end of November.

  • Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM)'s digital signature service for companies and government agencies, the "All-in Signing Service," has been certified to eIDAS level, meaning it can now be used throughout the EU, rather than just in Switzerland as was previously the case. This is different from its "All-in Singing Service," which we just made up.

  • Zambian power firm Copperbelt Energy Corp (CEC) has sold its 50% stake in CEC Liquid Telecom to pan-African telecom group Liquid Telecommunication Holdings. The value of the deal was not disclosed.(See Liquid Telecom Completes Zambia M&A Move.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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