Eurobites: DT in Tie-up Talks With Netflix

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: national watchdogs flex their muscles; TSIC sends for Ciena; UK mobile operators may be forced to share networks.

  • Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) is talking to OTT content company Netflix about a possible marketing partnership, reports Reuters, citing German monthly Manager Magazin. If agreed, the partnership could see Deutsche Telekom embrace Netflix as a content provider, even though it competes with the operator's own web-based TV offering, Entertain. In May, Netflix announced that it was planning to expand its service into five more European countries -- Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, and Belgium --- by the end of 2014. (See Eurobites: Netflix Spreads Its Wings.)

  • Europe's national competition watchdogs are making their presence felt, rebelling en masse against the European Commission 's apparent desire to give the proposed merger of Telefónica Deutschland GmbH and E-Plus Service GmbH & Co. KG its approval, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). At a meeting of the advisory committee examining the merger, just two out of the 12 national authorities represented voted in favor of the deal, according to the report. If the merger did go ahead, it would effectively reduce the number of major mobile operators in Germany from four to three. (See Eurobites: Telefónica Sweetens E-Plus Deal and Euronews: KPN to Sell E-Plus for €8.1B.)

  • Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) has trumped some of its main rivals to land a pan-European converged OTN/Ethernet platform deal with Telia Carrier . (See TeliaSonera Overlays With Ciena.)

  • UK's mobile operators may be forced to share their networks in the more remote parts of the country to improve overall coverage if a plan being considered by the British government comes to fruition. The BBC reports that the government wants operators to introduce "national roaming," allowing customers to use an alternative network if their own wasn't available.

  • More Brussels-based argy-bargy: The European Commission has given Germany's national regulator three months in which to scrap its plans to hike up mobile termination rates, reports Reuters. The plans by the Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA) would lead to Germany's rates being more than 80% higher than in some other European countries, said the Commission. If the authority does not comply, fines could be heading its way.

  • Etisalat and Telefónica are to collaborate on the development and implementation of a Security Operations Centre (SOC) in the UAE. According to the partners, the SOC will "offer a wide range of cyber security services to organizations of all sizes and is part of Etisalat's SMART strategy to secure the nation's public and private IT infrastructure." As part of the collaboration, Etisalat will enhance its managed security services portfolio with Telefónica services such as Cyber Threats Detection & Intelligence, Persistent Vulnerability Management, and Industrial Security and Antifraud. (See Etisalat, Telefónica Team Up on Managed Security Services .)

  • Ragnar Kårhus has been appointed CEO of Telenor Broadcast Holding and Canal Digital AS, effective August 1. Kårhus replaces Patrik Hofbauer, who was recently appointed new CEO of Telenor Sweden.

  • Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) has won what it calls a "hat-trick of contracts" with International SOS, which deals with medical and security matters for multinationals' employees working in remote locations. The contracts cover fixed, mobile, and cloud services.

  • And finally: A few weeks ago it was donkeys, and now UK mobile operator EE has come up with its latest WiFi wheeze: fiber-glass cows. The beasts are being deployed at this week's Glastonbury Festival to provide LTE-powered WiFi hotspots for the thousands of music fans (and one or two drug dealers). Glastonbury is held on a dairy farm, you see.

    Have a cow, man: Bovine WiFi hotspots will be moosic to the ears of festival-goers, offering an udderly brilliant opportunity to... [that's enough -- Ed]
    Have a cow, man: Bovine WiFi hotspots will be moosic to the ears of festival-goers, offering an udderly brilliant opportunity to... [that's enough -- Ed]

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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