Eurobites: EU Makes Life Awkward for OTT Video Crew
News Analysis Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe 11/7/2018
Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: EU approves Disney-Fox deal; Nokia helps create private LTE network for BMW in China, gets cozy with Infosys; Hyperoptic attracts Middle Eastern money; Three UK trumpets 5G progress.
Proposals that aim to create a more level playing field for competition between traditional broadcasters and johnny-come-lately streaming services have been adopted by the European Union's Council, effectively bringing them into law within the EU. The updates to the EU's rules for audiovisual media services force the likes of Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) to comply with regulations relating to protecting minors from potentially harmful content, increasing "cultural diversity" and the promotion of locally produced content -- under the new rules, at least 30% of streaming content in providers' inventories will have to be deemed "European."
Elsewhere in the EU corridors of power, the European Commission has approved Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS)'s acquisition of parts of 21st Century Fox , conditional on Disney fully complying with certain commitments. Having studied the evidence, the Commission concluded that the proposed deal raised no competition concerns on the consumer side because the merged company would "continue to face significant competition from other players, such as Sony, Universal and Warner Bros." However, when it came to the wholesale supply of TV channels, the Commission found that the deal would have eliminated competition on the supply of factual channels in several EU member states, so Disney had to commit to divesting its interest in all the factual channels it controls within the EU.
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and China Unicom Ltd. (NYSE: CHU) have collaborated on a private LTE network for "smart manufacturing" services at a new BMW plant in Shenyang, China. The Finnish vendor brings its virtualized Multi-access Edge Computing (vMEC) technology to the party, the object of the exercise being to process data closer to where it is being used. The private LTE network will support secure voice and data communication between staff at the plant as well as machine-to-machine communication including wireless video monitoring, production line maintenance inspection and industrial robotics.
Nokia is also involved in industrial 5G testing, in partnership with Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), at the Port of Hamburg. Three applications of the technology are being trialed: In the first, sensors have been installed on ships to transmit movement and environmental data across the port in real time; in the second, a set of traffic lights has been linked to a mobile network and can be operated remotely by the port's control center to ease traffic movement; and in the third, engineers are trying out smart glasses that show them building data relating to future or existing structures to improve construction planning. The trial is part of a two-year research project tortuously entitled 5G MoNArch (5G Mobile Network Architecture for diverse services, use cases, and applications in 5G and beyond).
And yet more Nokia: The vendor has formed a "strategic alliance" with Infosys Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: INFY), which touts itself as the bee's knees in "next-generation digital services and consulting." The idea behind the coupling is that it will combine technology, products and services from Nokia with platform solutions, engineering and operations management expertise from Infosys in a package that they hope enterprises looking to get with the transformation program will find hard to resist.
Hyperoptic , the UK altnet that is one of a number challenging BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) on the fiber front, has caught the eye and prized open the pocket book of Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment Company, a $200 billion sovereign wealth fund. As the Financial Times reports, the level of investment hasn't been revealed, but it will help Hyperoptic fulfil its goal of expanding its network to around 50 UK cities over the next three years.
Three UK is trumpeting the progress it has made in its £2 billion ($2.6 billion) network investment program, a spend-fest that it says will prepare it for the arrival of 5G. Among the items ticked off on its 5G to-do list: acquire appropriate spectrum; sign agreement for rollout of new cell site technology; and build a high-capacity dark fiber network connecting 20 new data centers.
Swedish media transport company Net Insight AB (Stockholm: NETI-B), which yesterday announced it had landed a "significant order" from a broadcast infrastructure operator in Eurasia, has upgraded Henrik Sund's interim CEO role to a permanent position. Sund has been holding the fort since the start of June, and will officially assume the permanent role on December 1.
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Telia are providing the 5G smarts for a pilot involving Einride's T-pod, an all-electric driverless vehicle operating round-the-clock at DB Schenker's logistics facilities in Jönköping, Sweden.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
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