Eurobites: OTT Apps Face the Telco Treatment

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson and ZTE display their wares in Amsterdam; Nokia's not leaving Nigeria; CityFibre does fiber-to-the-pier.

  • The existential question of just what constitutes a phone service continues to exercise the minds of those regulating the European telecom industry. Now Reuters reports that the European Commission is planning to extend certain security-related regulations that currently only apply to traditional telcos so that they cover over-the-top (OTT) web services such as WhatsApp and Skype too. Under the terms of the draft directive to be published next week, according to Reuters, such services will be compelled, among other things, to report significant data breaches to the relevant authorities and have well-defined contingency plans in place in case of service interruption.

  • As the IBC show get into its stride in Amsterdam, Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) continues to fire out a series of broadcast-related announcements. At the show, the vendor will be showcasing with BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) what it says is the first ever live demonstration of a high efficiency video coding (HEVC) contribution link used in the delivery of 4K Ultra HD TV. The link will be used to broadcast live rugby matches on BT Sport. Yesterday Ericsson announced it was working with Belgian incumbent Proximus to expand its multiscreen DVR service, adding features that will, for example, allow subscribers to record content on a smartphone for viewing on a tablet later. (See Ericsson Develops TV Anywhere Extensions for Proximus.)

  • IBC has also seen the launch of ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763)'s new hybrid set-top box. The snappily named ZXV10 B820T2-A14 supports both 4K Ultra HD and OTT services and uses Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s Android TV system so it has the potential to work with other Android applications. (See ZTE Launches STB to Support 4K, OTT.)

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has been seeking to reassure people that the temporary closure of its administrative office in Lagos does not signify the end of its involvement in Nigeria. In a statement, Nokia said that it remains "fully committed to delivering world-class connectivity solutions to the Nigerian market and positively contributing to the country socio-economic development."

  • Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) has added a relational MySQL database service to its Open Telekom Cloud, allowing companies to query the database directly. Prices for the service start at 3 euro cents per hour.

  • CityFibre , one of the group of UK "altnets" that this week set out its demands to the goverment for a more level playing field in the FTTH market, has notched up its fiftieth service provider partner. Onecom, which operates in the UK's more southerly counties, has entered into a five-year, £1.7 million (US$2.2 million) launch-partner agreement with CityFibre on its network currently under construction in Southend-on-Sea, an east coast seaside town that claims to possess the longest pleasure pier in the world. So the question has to be asked: Will it be a case of FTTEOTP (fiber-to-the-end-of-the-pier)? (See Eurobites: UK Altnets Demand Fair Fiber Deal and UK Needs Fiber Infrastructure Rivalry – CityFibre.)

    Southend Pier: Has candy floss, needs fiber.
    Southend Pier: Has candy floss, needs fiber.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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