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Europe in Brief Wi-Fi has reached the Czech Republic, but with one remarkable difference, according to Prague Post. Ad hoc groups such as CzFree.Net and companies like WideNet and My Net are allowing hotspot owners to swap Wi-Fi signals. You can get online for tariffs as low as 200 to 500 Kc ($7.50 to $19 per month).

Users who pay for a Wi-Fi connection can become a hotspot themselves through a variety of partnership programs that share one person's Internet bandwidth. At present there is no government regulation to limit the reselling of Internet bandwidth. CzFree.Net, a nonprofit ad hoc community of Internet activists, allows members to freely sell connections to their neighbours. In some cases the hotspot owner gets 65 per cent of the revenue. Ideally, 10 subscribers are enough to recoup a hotspot investment.


Finland: US electronics company culls 150

US electronics manufacturer Remec is sharply cutting back on its workforce at its factory in the northern Finnish city of Oulu, Helsingin Sanomat reports. Remec manufactures filters and amplifiers for mobile telephone base stations.

The company is moving production to China and Costa Rica, where labour is cheaper. Process development and prototype manufacture are to remain in Oulu. Pekka Talala, regional secretary of the Metalworkers’ Union, estimates that about half of the jobs in the IT sector in Oulu have disappeared in the past couple of years.


France: Sogeti-Transiciel hires IT staff

At last, some positive news: Sogeti-Transiciel, a subsidiary of information technology services consultancy Capgemini, launched a European campaign last week to recruit 2,000 IT engineers this year, AFP reports.

The company says it is the biggest recruitment drive in the industry in Europe. Sogeti-Transiciel employs more than 14,000 people in France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Since the beginning of 2004 the group has recruited 500 engineers in 11 countries.


Greece: 3G video streaming

Greek mobile company Cosmote has announced the commercial launch of 3G services and the introduction of video streaming for the first time in the Greek mobile market, Digital Media Europe reports.

Cosmote aims to work with content partners such as Antenna TV and Databank in Greece. Video calling will enable customers can see the person they are talking to. However, Cosmote's 3G network currently covers only 30 per cent of the country's population, mostly the metropolitan areas of Athens and Thessaloniki. ®

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