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Eurobites: Vodafone Launches IPTV in Ireland

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: UK watchdogs get their teeth into broadband ads; TalkTalk customers WalkWalk; Davos latest.

  • Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) has made its first foray into IPTV services in Ireland, launching packages that, after an initial discounted period, start at €70 (US$76) per month to new and existing broadband customers who enjoy downlink speeds of at least 40Mbit/s. A mobile element, TV Anywhere, forms part of the offer, and customers can also choose between six months' worth of Netflix, a Setanta Sports pack or free multiroom as an add-on.

  • UK regulators Ofcom and the Advertising Standards Authority have joined forces to stick the boot into fixed broadband providers over the way they advertise their wares. In a specially commissioned research study, the watchdogs found that around a quarter of those surveyed were unable to deduce the correct total price of the service being offered from the advertisement put before them. The major source of confusion appears to be the cost of line rental, which must be paid but is often not quoted in ads for broadband packages. Responding to the study, discount broadband provider TalkTalk said: "TalkTalk absolutely supports the ASA's findings and we've already called on Ofcom to bring in all-in pricing … But until the whole market moves to single prices, any company that advertises its products like this will struggle to compete with what look like better deals from other providers."

  • TalkTalk, though, has other things to worry about, not least an apparent exodus of customers since its well-publicized cyber attack of last year, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). Citing a study by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, the FT says that TalkTalk's share of new customers in the UK telecom market fell 4.4 percentage points in the third quarter of 2015, when the hack took place. Kantar's report concluded, damningly, that customers have "lost faith in TalkTalk as a trustworthy brand." (See Eurobites: TalkTalk Rocked by Cyber Attack and Polymorphic Attacks Reshape Security Landscape.)

  • The great and the good (and the not-so-good) are gathering for the World Economic Forum in snowy Davos, Switzerland this week, so expect lots of pieces to camera from journalists just excited to be able to show off their chic new winterwear. At a session today, the UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development to discuss the importance and the cost ($450 billion, apparently) of connecting the world's unconnected by 2020. For more details of the debate, see this press release.

  • The chances of Orange (NYSE: FTE)'s proposed merger with French rival Bouygues Telecom getting the go-ahead are looking good, according to a report in the Financial Times. The paper quotes "people with knowledge of the matter," who say that the deal will only need approval from the French competition authorities, rather than having to go before the European Commission. The Commission regulators, under the leadership of Margrethe Vestager, have made it clear in recent months that they are not keen on competition being reduced in any European market. (See Eurobites: Orange Confirms Bouygues Talks and Eurobites: EU Sounds Warning on Merger-Mania.)

  • A study by Belgium's BICS has revealed that LTE roaming is now available in 126 countries through 325 operators. In terms of the number of countries served, BICS says that represents an increase of 70% on the previous year.

  • Nokia Technologies, the technology licensing arm of the Finnish giant, has appointed Brad Rodrigues as vice president, strategy and business development, effective February 1. He will be based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

  • It's the Moo IP revisited: Telefónica has teamed up with livestock management firm Cattle-Watch to provide IoT connectivity systems to the cattle industry in Latin America and North America. Telefónica's Smart m2m Solution will provide, among other things, regular location updates and status reports on cattle.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • nasimson 1/22/2016 | 9:34:52 AM
    All rise As the masters of the universe enter Davis.. All rise. This year's WORLD Economic Forum does not look so optimistic given the drop in oil prices, Chinese economy slow down, Middle East troubles.. Let's see what comes out of it.
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