Eurobites: UK Govt Pushes for Single EU Digital Services Market

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Saudi Telecom hires new CEO as Q4 profits slump; ETNO seeks new director general; Envivio lands French multiscreen gig.

  • The UK government's Business Secretary, Vince Cable, is calling for the creation of a single European Union market for digital services, reports the Daily Telegraph. If such a plan ever came to fruition it would have major repercussions for the likes of Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), as streaming services currently vary their output and charges according to the particular territory they are serving. In his pre-prepared speech, to be delivered in Brussels today, Cable says: "In today's world of smartphones and WiFi, consumers who have paid for a service rightly expect to be able to use it across borders in the EU. But at the moment we have a patchwork quilt of digital content and services -- very good in some places but threadbare in others."

  • Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) is hoping to turn its fortunes around with the appointment of a new CEO, reports Reuters. Khalid bin Hussain Biyari will take the helm on April 27, replacing acting CEO Chairman Abdulaziz al-Sugair, who himself took over from Khaled al-Ghoneim, who quit in March 2013. Fourth-quarter figures released this week show STC's profits slumped 32.6% year-on-year to 2.44 billion Saudi riyals (US$649 million).

  • Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) is losing one of its big guns to Canadian cable operator Rogers Communications Inc. (Toronto: RCI). Dirk Woessner, who is in charge of sales and distribution for all of DT's fixed and mobile services in Germany, is leaving the German giant to become president of Rogers' Consumer Business Unit.

  • The European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) has officially started the search for a new director general, though as the incumbent, Daniel Pataki, leaves at the end of the month, you would have thought they had left it a bit late. Pataki has decided to "pursue new career opportunities outside ETNO."

  • South African mobile operator Vodacom Pty. Ltd. has extended its m-pesa mobile wallet service to include more traditional card-based payment/cash services. It is planning a large-scale rollout of prepaid EMV (which stands for Europay, Mastercard and Visa) cards as a complement to its m-pesa scheme. The cards are based on technology supplied by digital security specialist Gemalto .

  • France's Bouygues Telecom has gone with Envivio Inc. (NASDAQ: ENVI)'s encoding software to power its multiscreen video-on-demand service. Muse On Demand can ingest multiple files, convert them into mezzanine (mid-resolution) files, check their quality and encrypt them for each targeted device. (See Bouygues Telecom Builds Multiscreen Service Using Envivio Gear .)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • [email protected] 1/20/2015 | 9:50:02 AM
    Imagine the timetable.... I wonder what the REAL incentive is for MR Cable's intervention/suggestion.

    By the time any such single digital services market was agreed and in place the market will have changed radically -- could it be that he and his political party are trying to look like they are consumer freindly and au fait with digital service challenges? There is an election upcoming in the UK after all....
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