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Eurobites: Sky, Telstra Invest in Elemental

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: KPN trials VoLTE; TeliaSonera's 4G takes over; Telefónica's fiber dominance in Spain.

  • UK triple-play provider Sky has made a US$4 million equity investment in encoding startup Elemental Technologies Inc. (ETI) as it looks towards a future increasingly based on video streaming technology, as opposed to satellite broadcasting, its traditional stronghold. The investment forms part of a $14.5 million series D round of funding for Elemental led by Australian operator Telstra Corp. Ltd. (ASX: TLS; NZK: TLS). Elemental made its mark at last year's Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, when it showed off its 4K Ultra HD encoding capabilities. Sky is currently locked in a battle with BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) over premium soccer content, as the latter invests increasing amounts in its BT Sport channels in a bid to attract new broadband customers. (See Elemental Shows Off 4K and Confirmed: BT's Got Euroballs.)

  • Dutch incumbent KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN) is about to trial voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) with two companies in the Netherlands. Employees from Accenture and Amsterdam Arena have been given specially prepared LG and Samsung smartphones that support the new technology, and the trial will last for two months.

  • Five years after it introduced the world's first 4G LTE networks, in Stockholm and Oslo, Nordic operator Telia Company can boast that 4G accounts more than half of all mobile traffic on its networks in Sweden (57%), Norway (55%) and Denmark (54%).

  • New figures show that Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) still has an iron grip on Spain's fiber market, reports Reuters, highlighting the Spanish regulator's recent warning that it may force the operator to open up its fiber network to rivals. Telefónica added 91,264 fiber customers in October, bringing its total to 1.16 million and raising its market share to 86%.

  • That's all from Eurobites for 2014. We'll be back on January 5, 2015, so until then, enjoy the holidays.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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