Mobile operators win cut to sharp increase in UK licence fees
The UK’s telecoms regulator has reduced the proposed rise in the licence fees levied on mobile phone operators after heavy lobbying by the industry who had warned it would lead to higher bills for customers and hit their ability to invest. Ofcom said on Friday it was now planning to raise the annual licence fee fourfold from £64.5m to £246.8m, a cut of 20 per cent on its initial proposal.
Iliad shares fall after T-Mobile bid is deemed too low
Iliad SA shares slumped the most in almost eight years after the French carrier’s $15 billion bid for a stake in T-Mobile US increased the risk of a bidding battle with another suitor. Deutsche Telekom AG considers the $33-a-share cash offer for a 56.6 percent stake in T-Mobile as not competitive and inferior to a separate bid planned by Sprint Corp, according to a person familiar with the matter. Masayoshi Son, the billionaire whose SoftBank Corp. owns Sprint, is said to be working on an offer of about $40 a share for T-Mobile.
Threat to sue Zambia’s networks over poor service
Mobile operators allegedly providing ‘poor network services’ are under the spotlight in Zambia again. The Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) has threatened to launch legal action against the country’s mobile operators for issues such as dropped calls and insufficient network coverage. Last year, ZICTA dragged the country’s three mobile operators — MTN, Airtel and Zamtel — to court over alleged poor services.
Strong quarter proves the UK tech industry is “firing on all cylinders”
The UK technology industry has experienced a strong quarter from April to June 2014 as business activity rises at its fastest pace since 2007. This is according to professional services provider KPMG – its latest KPMG/Markit Tech Monitor UK survey claiming that the improving economy has led to a sustained period of strong growth for tech companies. In turn, this has boosted investment spending place across the sector, with 61 per cent reporting a solid upturn in year-ahead expectations for business activity.
Google says ‘forgetting’ isn’t easy, as requests mount
Google told European officials that forgetting isn’t easy, especially when details are few and guidelines are murky regarding when personal privacy trumps public interest. The world’s leading Internet search engine said that as of July 18 it had received more than 91,000 requests to delete a combined total of 328,000 links under Europe’s “right to be forgotten” ruling.
Microsoft ordered to hand over European data
Microsoft has lost its latest attempt to protect customer data in its Dublin data centre from seizure by US authorities. Earlier this year, the company was issued with a warrant to hand over a customer’s emails, which were stored in the Irish data centre. Details of the case are sealed, so it’s not known which US crime or government agency issued the warrant, who the target is and even what kind of investigation is involved.
Telefónica Vivo taps Ericsson for TV compression
Telefónica Vivo has chosen Ericsson’s AVP 4000 Encoder Family to provide compression for its TV service in Brazil. The company has also begun trials of a 4K/UltraHD service. With more content available for more video-enabled devices than ever before, maximising video delivery over available bandwidth and multiple networks is vital to the success of current and future consumer TV experiences. That’s prompted network upgrades for more and more video providers.
Ted Baker launches responsive eCommerce site
British clothing brand Ted Baker has relaunched its US website with a new focus on responsive design. The new site brings the company’s US web presence in line with the responsive site that was launched in the UK last October. The brand has reported a 48 per cent uplift in eCommerce business in the UK in the first half of 2014, which it attributes to the new site’s improved customer experience.
UK retailers lagging behind in omnichannel
UK retailers are lagging behind their US counterparts when it comes to omnichannel retail, with their “narrow” focus on click and collect holding back ecommerce growth, according to a new report. The report by digital think tank L2 collected data on the sophistication of brands’ omnichannel capabilities, such as store locator services, promotion of in-store events, online pre-ordering and free shipping. They were scored on a scale of zero to 10 depending on the degree to which they encourage online and offline behaviours.