Articles about Telecoms


How many telecoms firms left in Europe? Another mega-billion deal slated in France

French cable telecoms operator Numericable has won conditional approval for its multi-billion-euro takeover of Vivendi's SFR mobile network operator, paving the way for the firm to close the deal by the end of the year. Reuters reported that France's competition authority said Numericable would have to divest certain assets and …
OUT-LAW.COM, 31 Oct 2014
Selection of Australian banknotes

Turnbullnomics trashed as Oz regulator cuts telecoms prices

A bunch of Australian fixed telephony and broadband users are about to suffer under a regime of lower prices. In spite of communications minister Malcolm Turnbull's 2014 assertion that lower prices are against consumer's interests, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has told Telstra to cut its wholesale fixed …

Euro trade commish criticises Chinese telecoms subsidies

Chinese government subsidies to its telecoms sector are fundamentally unfair, Europe's top trade official has said - just after he announced that the European Commission has dropped a planned unfair pricing investigation into EU imports of Chinese mobile equipment. European Union trade commissioner Karel De Gucht criticised what …
OUT-LAW.COM, 07 Apr 2014

FCC takes three-month pause to consider massive telecoms mergers

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced it's pausing before making a decision over the proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable (TWC) and AT&T's gobbling of DirecTV, citing legal issues. The agency planned to announce the results of its three-month review of both mergers at the end of March, but has …
Iain Thomson, 16 Mar 2015

VAT's all folks: Telecoms and services tax to be set at consumer's homeland rate

VAT relating to cross-border business-to-consumer transactions will be charged at the rate in the country where the customer is based, rather than that of the supplier, under new EU rules to take effect in 2015. Explanatory notes on new VAT rules for telecoms, broadcasting and electronic services have been published by the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Apr 2014
Cellular antenna. Source: Vxla/Flickr

Myanmar picks for telecoms jackpot stoke controversy

The Myanmar government has awarded Norway’s Telenor and Qatar’s Ooredoo each a lucrative contract to run a telecoms license in the country, in a move which is already proving controversial. The government announced the decision via presidential spokesperson Ye Htut’s Facebook page last Thursday, adding that a consortium of …
Phil Muncaster, 01 Jul 2013

GCHQ hijacked LinkedIn profiles to hack Belgian telecoms network – report

British spies intercepted LinkedIn profile pages and injected malware into them to ultimately infiltrate the networks of mobile operators and other telcos in Belgium. That's according to the latest round of documents leaked by master squealer Edward Snowden. German weekly Der Spiegel reported that when some engineers working at …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Nov 2013
Gunther Oettinger, EU digital commissioner. Pic: Jennifer Baker

Euro Commission wants to pick your brains on telcos and net access

The European Commission on Friday launched two vast public consultations on internet speed and quality. The so-called 360° review of telecoms and internet rules is open until December 7 and is seeking input from users, organisations, public bodies and businesses. The telecoms questionnaire looks at network, service and …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Sep 2015

ASIO seeks new hires for telecoms interception teams

Australia's security intelligence organisation (ASIO) is hiring a clutch of telecoms intelligence staff. The agency is after a new “Assistant Director Telecommunications Interception” , a pair of ”Telecommunications Investigations Officers (we've linked to the better-paid of the two positions) and also a “Telecommunications …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Aug 2013
Green light

EU rubber-stamps Nokia's proposed Alcatel-Lucent gobble

The proposed mega-merger between Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent cleared a major hurdle on Friday, with the European Commission having given the deal its blessing. "The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns, in particular because the parties are not close competitors and since a number of …
Neil McAllister, 25 Jul 2015
BT Openreach van

That thing we do in the UK? Should be ILLEGAL in the US, moans ex-State monopoly BT

Former state-owned monopoly BT is calling for tough rules to force US telecoms companies to let rivals – such as, err, BT – have access their networks. The move would emulate the reverse situation in Blighty, where UK rivals are allowed to use BT's broadband network through Openreach. However, regulators are considering …
Kat Hall, 24 Aug 2015
Prime Minister David Cameron arrives alongside BT CEO Ian Livingstone (right) at Adastral Park, BT's global innovation and development centre in Ipswich, Suffolk

BT boss QUITS telecoms giant for front-bench gov job

Ian Livingston has quit the top job at BT, after being poached by Prime Minister David Cameron to take on a key trade and investment role for the government. The surprise announcement that Livingston will leave the national telco in September comes at an extremely busy time for BT - which is currently rolling out its fibre …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Jun 2013

NEC could ditch telecoms services unit

Ailing Japanese IT giant NEC could be set to jettison yet more of its business and move further from the mobile space after reports suggested its ready to sell subsidiary NEC Mobiling for up to $850 million. NEC Mobiling designs and builds telecoms infrastructure equipment, operates a repair and maintenance service for mobile …
Phil Muncaster, 27 Mar 2013

At last, switching between rubbish broadband providers now easier

From tomorrow it will be easier for consumers to switch from a crap broadband provider to, er, well, another — possibly slightly less crap — broadband provider. The new rules apply to those using the Openreach telecoms network, such as BT, EE, Sky and TalkTalk. Previously, consumers had to obtain a Migration Authorisation Code …
Kat Hall, 19 Jun 2015
The Register breaking news

What a Liberty: Virgin Media in buyout talks with telecoms giant

Virgin Media confirmed this morning that it is in buyout talks with cable giant Liberty Global. In a brief statement to the City ahead of it full-year results tomorrow, Virgin Media announced: Virgin Media confirms that it is in discussions with Liberty Global, Inc., a leading international cable company, concerning a possible …
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Feb 2013

EU anti-trust watchdog ponders TeliaSonera/Telenor merger

The European Commission is worried that a proposed merger between TeliaSonera and Telenor would be bad for consumers, and is now pondering whether to approve the deal. Both companies provide telecoms services in several European countries, but in Denmark the merged entity would face little competition, leaving the public with a …
Jennifer Baker, 09 Apr 2015

ZTE says it won't allow exec to appear in US court over arrest fears

Relations between Chinese telecoms vendor ZTE and the US federal government remain as tense as ever, with ZTE claiming it won't allow one of its executives to testify in a New York court over fears he will be detained if he enters the US. US District Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York had ordered Guo …
Neil McAllister, 12 Aug 2015
The Register breaking news

Telecoms band wants to drag White Space into the real world

A conglomerate of 23 telecoms organisations, including BSkyB and Indigo Telecom, have joined forces to make white space data networking a mainstream reality. The group, calling itself the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance, counts not only the usual universities and government-funded research labs amongst its membership, but also service …
Bill Ray, 17 Jun 2013
BT Openreach van

Wholesale price cap: Take THAT, BT, says (now toothy) Ofcom

UK regulator Ofcom further turned up the heat on BT today, unveiling plans to cap wholesale prices the one-time national telco charges for leased telecoms lines. The regulator said the move should lead to "significant savings" for businesses, part of its overall plan to promote greater competition in the £2bn market for leased …
Kat Hall, 12 Jun 2015

M2 acquires Clear Telecoms

M2 Telecommunications yesterday announced to the Australian Stock Exchange that it had acquired Clear Telecoms. The acqusition covers customer contracts, systems, brands and intellectual property. According to M2 Telecom’s announcement, Clear Telecoms had 20,000 SME customers Australia-wide and generated $70 million in annual …

Ofcom issues stern warning over fake caller number ID scam

Telecoms regulator Ofcom is warning customers of the dangers of CLI spoofing – the process which allows incoming calls to display fake originating numbers on recipients' phones. The organisation has pointed out that there are valid reasons for spoofing – “for example, a caller who wishes to leave an 0800 number for you to call …
Simon Rockman, 07 Sep 2015
The Register breaking news

M2 Telecoms buys some Time

M2 Telecommunications continues its acquisition drive, snapping up Time Telecom via subsidiary Southern Cross Telco for $AU18.5 million. The Time Group has around 30,000 small and medium sized business and residential customers Australia-wide. The complex transaction involves paying the cash consideration over three tranches, …

Euro phone, broadband giants are the 1% – yes, single-digit growth. Wow

After six years in the dark, Europe’s telecoms providers see a light at the end of the tunnel. According to a new report commissioned by industry body ETNO, the sector should return to growth in 2016. The association's Annual Economic Report claims telecoms services revenues were 4 per cent lower in 2013 than the previous year …
Jennifer Baker, 12 Dec 2014
The Register breaking news

Albanese takes telecoms ministry

Australia now knows who the chief pitch-man for the National Broadband Network is to be: longtime MP and now deputy prime minister Anthony Albanese. Albanese, who has been in federal parliament since 1996, has a long-standing interest in public infrastructure, but will have a steep learning curve to master the telecommunications …

Big Data investment? Tick, says MXC Capital

Channel merchant banker MXC Capital has splashed £4.8m on a minority stake in big data analytics minnow Sagacity Solutions - a price tag that matches the software firm’s turnover last year. The move comes weeks after MXC director Ian Smith told us he wants to place bets behind businesses in software development, managed …
Paul Kunert, 08 Sep 2015
management regulation1

Euro Commission drags Belgium to court over telco regulator's independence

The European Commission is taking Belgium to court for not allowing its telco regulator enough independence. Under EU law, national telecoms regulators must be able to act independently without state interference, but Belgium has a law allowing the Belgian Council of Ministers to suspend the Belgian Institute for Postal Services …
Jennifer Baker, 16 Oct 2014
Facebook WhatsApp

Chat app WhatsApp gift-wraps free yaps for Apple iPhone saps

WhatsApp is now offering free voice calls to iPhones, less than a month after the feature debuted for Android. Version 2.12.1 of the telephony app for iSO will allow Apple smartmobe users to talk over their internet connections. The "WhatsApp Calling" feature is going to be rolled out "slowly over the next several weeks" …

One digi market to RULE 'em all: Get with the net neutrality plan, guys, moans EU digi-veep

Europe’s new digi chief has told telecoms ministers to get their act together and deliver strong net neutrality rules. Andrus Ansip, European Commission veep for all things digital, said he had “no illusions” that this would be easy, adding: “I really hope that an agreement can be reached over the coming months. Otherwise, I …
Jennifer Baker, 08 Dec 2014
BT Openreach van

Forced sale of Openreach division would put BT broadband investment at risk, says CEO

BT's plans to develop improved broadband infrastructure would be put at risk if Ofcom decided to force it to sell off its Openreach division, the company's chief executive has said. Gavin Patterson said that it "would be difficult to convince the board of BT to invest" in broadband infrastructure improvements if the regulator …
OUT-LAW.COM, 12 May 2015

Told ya! Coms flogs telco arm to Timico in £2.5m deal

Hard-pressed B2B communications provider Coms Plc confirmed this morning it is to offload the telco arm to Timico for an initial cash splurge of £2.5m. As exclusively revealed by us late last month, the London-listed business hired Knight Corporate Finance to manage a fire sale of the division following a failed restructuring …
Paul Kunert, 26 May 2015

AT&T fingers BT's brass neck, wishes it could throttle it

US telco giant AT&T has slammed BT's efforts to get the US Federal Communications Commission regulator to give it access to AT&T's networks – describing the move as "staggering hypocrisy". The company was responding to the president of BT's US operation, Bas Burger, who complained that the firm has been hampered in its efforts …
Kat Hall, 10 Sep 2015
BT Openreach at work

BT: Let us scrap ordinary phone lines. You've all got great internet, right?

BT is asking Ofcom to be freed from its obligation to provide ordinary PSTN/POTS voice telephone connections across the UK. The telecoms giant would prefer to provide only internet services, and let customers use them for voice calls. The Telegraph reported that BT wants to move "all domestic and business customers to internet- …

EU, China promise 5G cooperation, seek an understanding on standards

The EU and China have pledged to work hand in hand on rolling out the next generation of mobiles and mobile networks. Digi Commissioner Gunther H-dot Oettinger signed a symbolic agreement with Miao Wei, Chinese Minister of Industry and Information Technology at Monday’s “High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue” in Beijing. “5G …
Jennifer Baker, 28 Sep 2015
Two mobiles man

EE: Yes, our broadband service is a total clusterf**k – but we promise to improve

EE has promised to get its act together after admitting what many of its customers knew already – its broadband service simply isn't good enough. Reg readers may recall that Blighty's communications watchdog has repeatedly roasted the telco for being the most moaned-about ISP in the UK. In July, Ofcom whacked EE with a £1m …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Sep 2015

Steelie Neelie orders Germany to sort out its mobe charges – or EU will go FULL LEGAL

Steelie Neelie has warned Germany – for the fifth time – that if it doesn’t sort out its proposals on mobile termination rates, the Commission will take legal action. The European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda may be on her way out, but Neelie Kroes has seemingly reached the end of her tether with the German telecoms …
Jennifer Baker, 21 Oct 2014

'Watered down' net neutrality rules could mean 'almost anything'

The EU negotiators' proposed new rules on net neutrality – reached in the early hours of Tuesday morning – have caused serious concerns among digital rights activists, who cite loopholes and vagueness. After three months of to-ing and fro-ing between member states and the European Parliament (a situation described by parliament …
Jennifer Baker, 01 Jul 2015

FCC now regulates ISPs – but don't take your complaints to the watchdog just yet

Net neutrality Tom Wheeler, chairman of America's broadband watchdog the FCC, has insisted that "we know what we're doing," as his regulator gobbles up more and more power. This is despite him acknowledging that the FCC isn't sure how far its authority stretches – and that it doesn't have crucial rules and guidelines in place. At a …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Jul 2015
A daisy

Daisy completes Phoenix IT gobble

Acquisition-ravenous Daisy Group has completed its gobble of tech services outfit Phoenix IT Group. The deal is a sizeable purchase for Daisy, with Phoenix turning over £233.4m in sales for the full-year 2014. The 1,400 engineers working for Daisy and Phoenix will be merged in the Partner Services division. The Phoenix …
Kat Hall, 31 Jul 2015
The Register breaking news

Dawdling EU countries smacked over telecoms reforms

The European Commission has sent formal requests to 16 EU countries asking them to completely transpose the EU's Telecoms Package of reforms into national law. The "reasoned opinions" have been issued six months after the countries were supposed to have fully implemented the new laws. The reforms gave individuals several new …
OUT-LAW.COM, 28 Nov 2011

EU operators PLEAD for MERCY, may get roaming rates cut ‘reprieve’

Policymakers are set to propose “no change” in wholesale telecoms roaming rates in the EU as part of a review of the system in 2016, according to a report. The Financial Times said it had seen a draft proposal from the Italian presidency of the European Council which indicated “long-fought proposals on roaming and spectrum …
OUT-LAW.COM, 25 Sep 2014
Sony God of War II

Net neutrality: EU's three-headed beast now at war with itself

Europe’s telecoms ministers are miles from an agreement with the European Parliament on net neutrality, as differences between the EU's governmental bodies become more apparent. The EU’s Telecommunications Council - made up of national ministers - will meet in Brussels tomorrow to discuss how to move forward on the proposed …
Jennifer Baker, 26 Nov 2014
Ronan Dunne, CEO of O2

Hutchison will float O2 … as soon as the Three merger is done

CK Hutchison - once known as Hutchison Whampoa* - will float O2 when it merges with Three, pushing the company back into public ownership. The merger is still awaiting regulatory approval, but is expected to go ahead. The fallout will see the number of mobile operators in the UK dropping from four to three, although given the …
Simon Rockman, 21 Sep 2015
Supermarine Spitfire firing up. SAC Graham Taylor/Crown copyright

Vodafone splashes €2 BEEELLLION to kick German TV sideways

Germany's electricity, gas, telecoms, post and railway regulator, the Bundesnetzagentur, has raised €5.08bn in its latest spectrum auction - including flogging the 700MHz frequencies currently in use by TV channels. The biggest purchaser was Vodafone, which splurged €2.1bn, with the auction going through 181 rounds and …
Simon Rockman, 23 Jun 2015
HoloLens Skype

Skype hauled into court after refusing to hand call records to cops

Skype has been called to appear before a court in Belgium after refusing to hand over customer data following a request for assistance in a criminal investigation. A court in Mechelen near Brussels wanted "data from messages and calls exchanged on Microsoft-owned Skype", a regulatory requirement that a Belgian telecoms operator …
John Leyden, 26 May 2015
The Register breaking news

Myanmar to open telecoms to foreigners

One of Asia’s last closed telecommunications markets is to loosen up, with Myanmar announcing its tender for two telecommunications licenses will be open to foreign companies. The nation is hoping for a rapid expansion of its telecommunications sector and services, with an ambitious target from today’s 10 percent mobile …

China laments 'wild guesses and malicious slurs' on state hacking

Chinese president Xi Jinping visits the USA in September, a visit expected to be afforded all the pomp and ceremony of a top-level bilateral leader's meeting. Other diplomatic protocols are meanwhile being observed, including sniping through the media. In China's case, that means state-owned Xinhua, which quoted Chinese …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Aug 2015

No, I won't SNORKEL in your server room at STUPID-O'CLOCK

ON-CALL In the spirit of our popular eXpat Files column, we've decided to chronicle some of the weird things that have happened to readers who work on-call. This week's story came from Reg reader, Paul, whose story goes like this: I used to work in telecoms in London and we had quite a few major foreign embassies and overseas banks to …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Dec 2014

Architect of UK’s hated scheme quits NHS, flees from Britain

The architect of Blighty's hated scheme, Tim Kelsey, has today announced he will quit as the NHS's National Information Director. Kelsey will leave the British health service in December and take the new role of director at Australia’s telecoms biz Telstra Health next July. Curiously, the NHS did not list …
Kat Hall, 17 Sep 2015
Angry woman on mobile

Euro ministers ditch plan to ban roaming charges

Europe’s telco ministers appear to have done a U-turn over a proposed total removal of mobile phone roaming charges by the end of the year. In 2013, the European Commission proposed a plan - backed by MEPs - to end costly roaming surcharges by the end of 2015. No longer would holidaymakers or business travellers be surprised and …
Jennifer Baker, 05 Mar 2015
NHM Giant Clam

Samsung to launch a Snapdragon 808-based clamshell smartphone

We don’t get clamshell smartphones in the West, but China's love of keypads means that Samsung sells them over there - and the first Sammy to use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor is just such a phone. Samsung_SM_G9198_clamshell The Samsung SM-G9198 The SM-G9198 has just got approval from China’s telecoms regulator, …
Simon Rockman, 08 Jul 2015