Orange to Launch Mobile-Only Bank

French telecom operator Orange is acquiring a majority stake in Groupama Banque, allowing Orange to create the mobile-only Orange Bank in France at the beginning of 2017. Orange will own 65 percent of Orange Bank, while Groupama retains a 35 percent ownership. Through Orange Bank, Orange and Groupama will offer all essential banking services over a mobile platform, including current accounts, savings, loans and insurance services, as well as payment. The combined ambition for the two groups is to attract over two million customers in France.

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Orange to Launch Mobile-Only Bank

EU Files Antitrust Charges Against Google

The European Union has opened an antitrust action against Google, formally charging Google with abusing the dominant position of its Android mobile operating system. European Union antitrust regulators argue that by requiring mobile phone manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and the Google Chrome browser, the U.S. company was denying consumers a wider choice of mobile apps and stifling innovation. The Commission also alleges that Google has breached EU antitrust rules by preventing manufacturers from selling smart mobile devices running on competing operating systems based on the Android open source code. Also at issue are Google’s alleged practices giving financial incentives to manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition that they exclusively pre-install Google search on their devices

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EU Files Antitrust Charges Against Google

Is Value of Fixed Networks Higher in Western Europe than in United States?

As has been the case for decades, service provider strategies have been diverging since the end of monopoly regulation. The longer-term strategy in Western Europe seems to be that leading operators will adopt a mobile-plus-fixed approach intended to support quadruple-play services. Comcast in the U.S. market is likely to take the same approach.  More questions surround ultimate strategies to be taken by mobile-only providers such as Sprint and T-Mobile US, or integrated carriers such as AT&T and Verizon. European executives might argue that a “mobile-only” approach cannot succeed in their markets

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Is Value of Fixed Networks Higher in Western Europe than in United States?

Municipal Broadband: Competition or Investment, Choose One

Regulation of communications services often poses a cruel and difficult choice, namely choosing between competition or investment. In fact, that is the explicit context of policymaking in the European Community and North America, for example. In the EC, after decades of fostering policies leading to robust competition, policymakers now are focusing on methods of obtaining more of the other sort of good, namely robust investment in next generation networks. In the U.S market, policymakers rapidly shifted to policies designed to encourage investment in next generation networks, at the expense of policies that deliberately encouraged competition. Such trade-offs are a difficult but real constraint on all policymaking in the next generation networks arena, including that of local access and high speed access services.

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Municipal Broadband: Competition or Investment, Choose One

In Internet of Things Business, Dumb Pipe Will be a Small Revenue Driver

There is a very good reason why access providers are so intrigued by Internet of Things applications and services. Of the access connections expected to be in use by 2020, perhaps 60 percent will support Internet of Things devices and apps, according to Cisco. That noted, relatively little total ecosystem revenue will be directly earned by supplying Internet access. Devices, installation of devices, applications and systems integration likely will represent most of the revenue.

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In Internet of Things Business, Dumb Pipe Will be a Small Revenue Driver

Content Frequently is Blocked for Contract Reasons, EC Study Finds

Geographic blocking of content is rather common on the Internet, the result of licensing agreements between content owners and distributors. That also is the case across the European Union countries as well. The point is simply that there are any number of reasons why Internet apps or content are restricted, among them that access is not lawful in particular countries. That can be the result of government policy or contract clauses. The same sorts of issues exist on the other end of the policy continuum, where access terms and conditions sometimes cannot be made more generous to consumers.

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Content Frequently is Blocked for Contract Reasons, EC Study Finds

Orange VoLTE, Wi-Fi Launch" What’s the Upside?

Orange is launching voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) as well as Wi-Fi calling across its European operations, “to enrich the voice experience for all its customers.” The launch illustrates a key business model challenge for telecom service providers launching some next generation networks and features.  The emphasis of the launch is supplying the “very best voice experience available today,” not “new revenue” or “new markets.” As with some other investments, next generation technology and features essentially is a “cost of being in business,” not a direct enabler of new revenue sources and new markets. Much the same business model problem was encountered by fixed network operators looking at upgrades from digital subscriber line to fiber access technology.

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Orange VoLTE, Wi-Fi Launch" What’s the Upside?

Altice to bring 1 Gig to 250 Suddenlink communities, expects more builds in 2017

Altice plans to bring 1 Gbps service to 250 communities in the Suddenlink territories, furthering the work that Suddenlink began, prior to its acquisition by the European cable operator last May, to reach over 60 percent of its Internet subscribers.

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Altice to bring 1 Gig to 250 Suddenlink communities, expects more builds in 2017

Liberty Global, Vodafone Combine Operations in Netherlands

Liberty Global and Vodafone will merge their operating businesses in the Netherlands to form a 50:50 joint venture creating a national communications provider in the Netherlands with video, broadband, mobile and business segment service capabilities. The business will operate under both the Vodafone and Ziggo brands and will have over 15 million revenue generating units, of which 5.3 million are mobile, 4.2 million are video, 3.2 million are high-speed broadband and 2.6 million are fixed-line telephony. The new venture will allow the partners to measure customer demand for quadruple-play packages combining fixed network video, high speed access and voice with mobile service, all as part of a single offer. Compared to European operators, U.S.

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Liberty Global, Vodafone Combine Operations in Netherlands

Vodafone, Liberty Go Dutch

Consolidation in the European telecommunications marketplace rolled into the Netherlands today.  After talking about asset swaps and such on and off for many quarters, Vodafone and Liberty Global have finally followed through somewhere.  The two companies have announced an agreement to combine their Dutch operations in a new joint venture that will look to take on the incumbent, KPN.

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Vodafone, Liberty Go Dutch

Cost Structure Really Does Matter

British Internet service provider Gigaclear has gotten a €25 million (£19 million, $27.3 million) loan from the European Investment Bank, a move it reckons will help boost its rural broadband network for perhaps 40,000 homes. Rough math: including overhead and debt service, that implies the cost of rural U.K. fiber to the home of no more than $682 per location. That appears breathtakingly low, and far less than BT costs to deploy fiber to the home .

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Cost Structure Really Does Matter

CES, AT&T Shift to Internet of Things, Connected Cars

The Consumer Electronics Show once was lead by televisions as the key product category. Then CES became a show focusing on personal computers. Then came mobility. Now CES is about connected cars, part of the Internet of Things category. AT&T signed more than 300 Internet of Things connected devices deals in 2015, in the United States and internationally, to connect sensors and other telemetry devices across the automotive, shipping, industrial, health care, home security and smart cities sectors

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CES, AT&T Shift to Internet of Things, Connected Cars

European Mobile Data Consumption to Climb to 6 GB by 2019, at 45% CAGR

The average monthly data usage for Western Europe is set to grow from less than 1 GB per month in 2014 to nearly 6 GB in 2019, a compound annual growth rate of 45 percent, according to GSMA Intelligence.   Faster networks are correlated with higher data consumption. Telefónica, for example, says that its 4G customers’ usage is 60 percent higher than 3G. Vodafone says its 4G customers across four European markets use twice as much data as its 3G customers (50 percent more in Germany to 1.3 times as much in the United Kingdom and three times as much in Spain). Telefónica as well has said it is “actively bundling content to drive data usage up”

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European Mobile Data Consumption to Climb to 6 GB by 2019, at 45% CAGR

Fish Where the Fish Are

This Industry Viewpoint was authored by Michael Quinn, Hayley Hughes & Natalie Czyzowicz of Q Advisors Despite the soaring North American hosted unified communications (“UC”) market that is projected to exceed revenues of $9 billion by 2020, there might be an even better place for U.S. managed and cloud services providers to focus their efforts. The small, but growing hosted UC market in Europe may be that opportunity. Driven by rapid adoption and little competition, the European hosted UC market is anticipated to …

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Fish Where the Fish Are

Vodafone, Orange and Deutsche Telekom take lead in Europe’s connected car race

The connected car concept is taking hold in the European market as three of the region's largest wireless operators — Vodafone, Orange and Deutsche Telekom — are taking the lead in developing new services.

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Vodafone, Orange and Deutsche Telekom take lead in Europe’s connected car race

The EU Votes for Net Neutrality, Killing It?

Regulatory headlines out of Europe today are a bit contradictory. The European parliament has passed network neutrality regulation by a vote of 500-163, enshrining the concept in law continent-wide alongside a nice crop of loopholes that have opponents up in arms.  … [ visit site to read more ]

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The EU Votes for Net Neutrality, Killing It?

European Parliament Sets Network Neutrality Rules

The European Parliament has ratified net neutrality rules applying across the European Union. Blocking of lawful apps has been an issue.   In 2012, the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) reported that between 21 percent and 36 percent of Internet access subscribers were affected by blocking or throttling depending on the type of application. The new rules forbid blocking or throttling of lawful online content, applications and services, on mobile or fixed networks. That will have possible implications for Skype, Facetime or other apps sometimes blocked by ISPs.

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European Parliament Sets Network Neutrality Rules

European Parliament Approves End to Mobile Roaming Charges

The European Parliament has ratified an end to wholesale mobile roaming charges by June 2017 and also set net neutrality  rules for the first time in EU law. For consumers, the new rules mean that, starting 15 June 2017, EU mobile customers will pay home rates for voice, texting and mobile data when traveling within the EU, subject to a fair use cap that is not yet defined. Since the EU took action in 2007, prices that consumers pay for roaming across calls, texting and data have decreased by over 80 percent .

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European Parliament Approves End to Mobile Roaming Charges

EU Internet Access Coverage Reaches 99 Percent

A study prepared for the European Commission Directorate-General of Communications Networks, Content and Technology by IHS Global Limited, Valdani Vicari Associati shows Internet access coverage no longer is  problem within the European Union. While availability is not the same as purchase, a variety of access platforms are widely available across the European Union, with digital subscriber line, 3G mobile and satellite having the widest availability. Broadly speaking, there is no lack of high speed access infrastructure in the European Union, though rural areas are tougher to serve, as always. The study results show that over 216 million EU households (99.4 percent) had access to at least one of the main fixed or mobile broadband access technologies at the end of 2014 (excluding satellite)

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EU Internet Access Coverage Reaches 99 Percent

Not Only "3 or 4," but "Which" 3 or 4

In many mobile markets, all fundamental policy choices about the right mix of competition and investment center on the numbers “three” and “four.” Those numbers correspond to the number of leading providers in the market. It might be fair to qualify the notion by adding that “which three” and “which four” also are important. Some firms arguably are better able to compete, either because their cost structures are lower or because they have other key revenue streams to rely upon.

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Not Only "3 or 4," but "Which" 3 or 4

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