BT grumbles about having to subsidise Sky and TalkTalk’s broadband
BT has a bee in its bonnet over what the company refers to as a “pricing distortion” in the wholesale broadband market which it claims has benefited Sky and TalkTalk to the tune of £623 million over the last nine years. BT cites a report from Plum Consulting stating that this figure could reach £1 billion if Ofcom keeps matters as they are for the next six years (as is the plan). The money is the amount lost due to BT’s subsidising of Sky and TalkTalk (principally) when it comes to broadband Local Loop Unbundling (LLU), whereby these third-party ISPs install their own equipment in BT exchanges.
Telecom Italia to establish independent board
The board of Telecom Italia has approved a set of guidelines aimed at safeguarding the interest of minority shareholders when the board is up for renewal in April, reports Reuters. Under the guidelines, the new board would have to have a clear majority of directors who are independent from Telecom Italia’s biggest shareholder Telco, Telecom Italia said. Telco has a 22.4 per cent stake in Telecom Italia. Telefónica, with which Telecom Italia competes in Latin America, is Telco’s biggest investor. Italian banks Intesa Sanpaolo and Mediobanca and insurer Generali are also core shareholders in Telco.
Global Telecoms Business
Etisalat to work on 5G with Huawei
Middle Eastern operator group Etisalat has signed a series of agreements with Huawei that will see the two companies deepen their cooperation in developing 5G telecom broadband services over the next five years. A joint team will be set up to conduct the trial of 5G services, which are anticipated to be the first ever trials of their kind across the MENA region, the companies said. By 2020, it is estimated that 6.5 billion people worldwide will use mobile networks for data communications and that 100 billion additional ‘things’, such as vehicles, meters, medical devices, and home appliances, will also be connected via broadband networks.
Satya Nadella starts to shape Microsoft with new appointments
Reports have emerged of new senior appointments at Microsoft, events that are being interpreted as new CEO Satya Nadella putting his stamp on the organisation. According to Re/Code and Bloomberg, Mark Penn will soon be confirmed as chief strategy officer. The two outlets also report that Skype supremo Tony Bates and head of marketing Tami Reller will leave Microsoft.
Salesforce to open three data centres in Europe
Cloud computing company Salesforce.com has announced that it will expand its investment in Europe by opening three new data centres in the UK, France and Germany. Salesforce is best known for its customer relationship management (CRM) software, which helps sales teams to track each individual customer — who they are, their requirements, where they are in the sales process, recent social media activity, notes from previous calls and records of email conversations.
China’s Windows XP users to still get security support
Microsoft is making a special exception in the way it retires Windows XP in China, and will continue offering security support for the OS to users in the nation. To do so, the U.S. software giant is partnering with China’s leading Internet security vendors, Microsoft said in a Sunday posting on its official account with Sina Weibo, a top social networking site in the country. Outside of China, Microsoft is dropping support of Windows XP on April 8, meaning that users of the OS will no longer receive security patches meant to fix vulnerabilities in the software.
Apple officially unveils iOS in-car integration with CarPlay
The feature – previously referred to as iOS in the Car – allows drivers to make calls, consult Maps, listen to music and access messages by either pressing the voice control button on the steering wheel to activate Siri or using the car’s native interface. Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo vehicles will unveil their CarPlay models this week, while a host of other leading manufacturers will bring the service to their products at a later date. Siri can respond to vocal requests while driving, such as reading incoming messages and making calls, and can also work alongside Maps to offer turn-by-turn directions.
56 per cent of Brits have inadequate internet security
According to the results of the government’s most recent National Cyber Security Consumer Tracker, more than half the UK population aren’t taking actions to keep themselves safe online. In fact only 44 per cent of us always install internet security on new equipment, and only 37 per cent continue to download updates and patches for their software once installed. It is easier than ever to stay safe online today, as many broadband providers will include internet security as part of your package.
Britain will reportedly scrap 20 per cent tax on Bitcoin
British authorities have plans to scrap a 20 per cent “value-added tax” on Bitcoins, bringing regulation of the controversial crypto-currency in line with the way it treats other currencies. “The UK’s welcoming approach to Bitcoin contrasts with the approach of other countries, amid concerns about its use for tax evasion and money laundering as well as its notoriety for wide fluctuations in value,” reports The Financial Times. The Bitcoin news blog Coindesk further explains that the rule is “expected to be formally announced this week,” continuing, “the ruling would find HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the UK’s customs and tax department, classifying virtual currencies as assets or private money, not as vouchers that required a tax on the value of the coins.” Bitcoin will still be subject to other taxes, such as the corporation tax.