CEPT – Electronic Communications Committee Working Group on Frequency Management
A representative of the MCA participated in the Electronic Communications Committee’s Working Group on Frequency Management (ECC WG FM) between the 30th January and 3rd February 2017 in Luxembourg. The ECC WG FM is responsible for developing strategies, plans and implementation advice for radio spectrum management within CEPT (European Conference for Postal and Telecommunication Administrations). The topics discussed during the meeting were mainly related to RF services including maritime, satellite, 5G and Internet of Things (IoT). The meeting also covered RF monitoring and interference matters. The participation of the MCA in such meetings allowed Malta to be involved in the process leading to the adoption of European spectrum management and licensing deliverables. This will feed into the review process of the National Frequency Plan and in the Spectrum Management Framework.
Ministerial Appearance before EP (ITRE) Committee
MCA representatives formed part of a Maltese Ministerial delegation participating in the meeting of the European Parliament – ITRE (Industry, Research and Energy) Committee on the 25th January 2017 in Brussels, Belgium. Amongst other matters, the Committee discussed the Maltese Presidency priorities for Telecom policy and the Digital Single Market. Hon. Minister Emmanuel Mallia, Maltese Minister for Competitiveness and Digital, Maritime and Services Economy delivered a speech highlighting the Presidency’s plans in dealing with the legislative proposals currently being discussed by the Council. The session proceeded with a question and answer session between MEPs and Minister Mallia during which various subjects (roaming, spectrum, BEREC, WiFi for EU, maritime issues) were discussed. The Committee was also addressed by Hon. Chris Agius, in respect of the Maltese Presidency priorities for Research, Innovation and Space.
High Level Internet Governance (HLIG) Meeting
A representative of the MCA participated in the HLIG meeting on the 23rd January 2017 in Brussels, Belgium. The meeting covered a number of Internet Governance topics. These included a round table on the Governmental Advisory Committee’s (GAC) participation in the Empowered Community and a discussion on the EU member states position regarding the ITU’s proposed International Telecommunication Regulations (EG-ITR’s). A presentation on the EU’s “Digital 4 Development” assistance policies to bridge the digital divide was shared along with a discussion on the ongoing DSM review from an Internet Governance perspective.
A multi stakeholder session was then held in the afternoon whereby various industry bodies from telcos, service providers and other interested stakeholders were present.
This session comprised:
The Role of the Judiciary in the Changing Digital Single Market
An MCA representative attended a one day seminar, addressed to national judges and regulators, on “The role of the Judiciary in the Changing Digital Single Market” on the 20th January 2017 by the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. The seminar was dedicated to the discussion of the EU and national case-law in the electronic communications sector. A comprehensive update on the recent EU judgements on electronic communications and related fields of law was given and a discussion between national judges which focused on two main topics:
A high-level representative from the European Commission also delivered an overview of the recent developments at EU level in the electronic communications sector, and in particular, the proposed reform of the relevant regulatory framework. A representative from the academia also delivered his contribution on the evolution of the sector in the EU, while a high-level BEREC representative gave a presentation on an in-depth analysis of the status of the implementation of the EU rules on open internet.
Radio Spectrum Policy Group - Working Group – Good Offices
An MCA official participated in the working group meeting of the Radio Spectrum Policy Group on ‘Good Offices’, which took place on the 17th January 2017, in Maisons-Alfort, Paris, France. The first part of the meeting focused on the developments which took place in Italy to address television and FM radio harmful interference situation that was present in their countries. The Member States presented the harmful interference situation that was present in their countries. The meeting then discussed cross-border related issues with respect to the 700 MHz band. The meeting analysed responses submitted by Member States to an RSPG questionnaire circulated in 2016 requesting information on the Member States’ plans leading to the availability of this band for wireless broadband services. Developments and issues relating to frequency coordination activities were also considered. A report detailing the findings of the questionnaire was prepared for discussion at the 42nd RSPG Plenary meeting.
BEREC Workshop: Preparing the revolution for the Internet of Things
Published on the 30th January 2017: http://bit.ly/2lgzLFl
The Assignment of Spectrum in the 800 MHz Band – Submissions to the Call for Applications
Published on the 26th January 2017: http://bit.ly/2kFbEma
The MCA invites the public to vote for their preferred social media campaign
Published on the 24th January 2017: http://bit.ly/2jUcX0Y
The Transmission of the Local free to Air TV Stations
Published on the 23rd January 2017: http://bit.ly/2jU5aRa
GetSmarter – Maximizing the Use of your Smartphone
Published on the 19th January 2017: http://bit.ly/2k6SDcG
BeSmartOnline! Continues the fight against online risks
Published on the 18th January 2017: http://bit.ly/2kdZUDR
GetSmarter – maximising the use of your smartphone
The Malta Communications Authority has launched GetSmarter - a new initiative that is aimed at helping mobile users maximise the use of their smartphone. This initiative is being undertaken with the collaboration and support of the three leading mobile operators, GO plc, Melita and Vodafone Malta. The training, also open to individuals who are planning on purchasing a smartphone, will be offered free of charge and will help users identify different ways of connecting with people, how to browse the Internet over their smartphone and will give an overview of other interesting features available on their mobile device.
This project is another step forward in the MCA’s drive to minimize the digital divide and fully complements the numerous initiatives it has rolled out over the past years. According to the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2016, which is a composite index developed by the commission to assess the development of EU countries towards a digital economy and society, Malta currently ranks 11th out of the 28 EU member state. In terms of mobile technology, whilst the local mobile penetration rate has long exceeded the 100% mark, mobile data usage is still lagging behind the EU average. This is an important feature in mobile technology and it is important for subscribers to know the benefits, and how to use it responsibly. This training programme is specifically aimed to assist users in getting the most out of their mobile device and technology that it offers. In order to facilitate participation, the MCA has set up the sessions at different times during the day, at its various Community and Technology Learning Centres (CTLCs) across Malta and Gozo.
Malta’s ICT objectives are guided by the Europe 2020 strategy initiatives and the Digital Malta Strategy. Digital Malta reflects the Government’s vision to have Malta prosper as a digitally enabled nation in all sectors of society by 2020, especially when one considers today’s reality, that technology is a key player for efficiency and less bureaucracy.
BeSmartOnline! continues the fight against online risks
Following the successful application for EU funds under Connecting Europe Facility, the fourth phase of the BeSmartOnline! project was officially launched during a press conference held this morning. This marks yet another important milestone for the consortium, which can now continue its work as the ‘Safer Internet Centre’ in Malta.
BeSmartOnline! has been the national flagship initiative that promotes the safer use of the internet for the past 6 years. These funds will allow it to carry on this mission over the next 30 months. The project is coordinated by the Malta Communications Authority and implemented through a consortium made up of the Foundation for Social Welfare Services, the Office of the Commissioner for Children and the Directorate for Quality and Standards in Education (DQSE).
The overarching mission of the consortium is to proactively safeguard the well-being of children as they navigate and explore the Internet in order to ensure a positive online experience. It also aims to help children fully recognise and reap the benefits of the many opportunities that the Internet can present. This is done through the implementation of a number of awareness raising and educational initiatives targeting children and their supporting networks; particularly, parents, carers, and educators. In this regard, the learning objectives and outcomes of the Personal, Social and Career Development (PSCD) subject, which focus on digital citizenship, are instrumental in reaching all students within compulsory schooling.back to index
27.01.17: ‘Newsfeed’ – Radju Malta
(Id-Dizzjunarju Malti Onlajn - Charmaine Buttiġieġ u Stephen Muscat)
27.01.17: ‘Newsfeed’ – Radju Malta
(BeSmartOnline! - Mark Spiteri)
26.01.17: ‘Newsfeed’ – Radju Malta
(GetSmarter - Matthew Borg)
28.01.17: ‘Gadgets’ – TVM
(Consumer Tip 4 - Yanika Cassar)
27.01.17: ‘News Feature’ – TVM
(Press Launch - GetSmarter Initiative)
26.01.17: ‘Gadgets’ – TVM
(eBusiness Awards 2016 – Public Voting)
24.01.17: ‘MCA Advery’
(15th Anniversary Campaign – Mobile Sector)
21.01.17: ‘Gadgets’ – TVM
(Consumer Tip 3 - Yanika Cassar)
17.01.17: ‘News Feature’ – TVM
(Press Launch - BeSmartOnline! Phase 4)
14.01.17: ‘Gadgets’ – TVM
(Consumer Tip 2 - Yanika Cassar)
07.01.17: ‘Gadgets’ – TVM
(Consumer Tip 1 - Yanika Cassar)
Seminars/courses involving Legal
Cullen International: European Commission does not yet have a solution on data retention
The European Commission has not yet set its plans on data retention after the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) ruled on December 21, 2016 on the compatibility of the Swedish and UK data retention laws with EU law. The commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs, Dimitris Avramopoulos, said on January 24, 2017 that the Commission is still examining the “full implications” of the ruling [read more – subscription required].
Cullen International: Czech regulator calls mobile operators to decrease wholesale data rates to €0.037c per MB
CTU, the Czech regulator, demanded on January 19, 2017 O2, T-Mobile and Vodafone to decrease the wholesale prices for mobile data in their regulated reference LTE offers for full MVNOs [read more – subscription required].
Cullen International: Geo-blocking Regulation – Rapporteur wants to cover copyright content
The European Parliament’s rapporteur wants to include non-audiovisual content protected by copyright (such as online music streaming) under the scope of the future EU regulation addressing geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination based on the customer’s nationality or residence [read more – subscription required].
Total Telecom: Ajit Pai formally nominated as FCC chairman
US president Donald Trump has formally nominated Ajit Pai as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Pai already serves as a Republican commissioner at the FCC, having been appointed by former president Barack Obama in 2012 [read more].
Cullen International: Amazon offers to remove its parity clauses to end the e-book investigation – European Commission seeks feedback
In order to end the ongoing e-book investigation, Amazon has submitted commitments to the European Commission according to which it will give up the problematic parity clauses that are included in its distribution contract [read more – subscription required].
European Commission: Commission launches a public consultation for the review of the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA)
The European Commission has launched a public consultation to seek views on the past performance of the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) and on a possible overhaul of its mandate in view of new challenges the EU faces in the cyber security field. The consultation is open until 12 April 2017 [read more].
Total Telecom: EE fined £2.7m for overcharging customers
EE was fined £2.7 million by UK telecoms regulator Ofcom for overcharging subscribers who called its customer support line [read more].
Ars Technica: ISPs seek end of privacy rules just in time for Trump’s inauguration
New privacy rules that protect the Web browsing data of broadband subscribers went into effect at the beginning of January 2017, but they could be overturned shortly after Republicans gain a majority at the Federal Communications Commission [read more].
European Commission: Building a European Data Economy
Building a European data economy is part of the Digital Single Market strategy. The initiative aims at fostering the best possible use of the potential of digital data to benefit the economy and society. It addresses the barriers that impede the free flow of data to achieve a European single market [read more].
Cullen International: e-Privacy review: OTT communication apps subject to additional privacy rules
As part of its review of the e-Privacy Directive (ePD), the European Commission presented on January 10, 2017 a legislative proposal to subject over-the-top (OTT) communication services such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Gmail, iMessage or Viber to additional privacy rules. Currently, most of the rules in the ePD only apply to traditional telecommunications services [read more – subscription required].
Cullen International: Portugal reduces fixed termination rates by 42% as cost oriented prices are defined
ANACOM, the Portuguese regulator, reduced fixed termination rates (FTRs) by 42% following the approval of a pure BU LRIC cost model for fixed call termination. FTRs dropped from 0.1114 to 0.0644 €cents/minute [read more – subscription required].
Cullen International: ANACOM maintains decision not to regulate fibre lines in non-competitive areas
ANACOM proposes to maintain its decision not to regulate fibre access networks in non-competitive areas, despite a Commission recommendation asking the Portuguese regulator to review its market analysis and to grant access to fibre lines owned by MEO, the incumbent [read more – subscription required].
The Verge: France’s ‘right to disconnect’ is a nice idea, but it’s also pretty vague
Lengthy vacations and short work weeks have long been staples of life in France, but technology has made it increasingly difficult for employees to leave their jobs behind when they head home. Smartphones and laptops have blurred the line between professional and personal spheres, raising health concerns that have prompted the government to take action [read more].
Out-Law.com: GDPR guidance: Multinationals can influence which data watchdog leads oversight of cross-border processing
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which takes effect on 25 May 2018, will introduce for the first time a formal process for cooperation of national Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) across the EU in respect of certain cross-border data processing activities [read more].
Policy Tracker: BT wants post-Brexit clarity from UK government
Larry Stone, BT’s president of group public and government affairs, says the company has held meetings with the UK government to discuss post-Brexit telecoms policy and the UK’s relationship with the rest of Europe [read more – subscription required].
Total Telecom: EE emergency services network faces delay
EE's 4G-based emergency services network (ESN) is running behind schedule and the delay could cost the UK hundreds of millions of pounds per year, it has emerged [read more].
Policy Tracker: AT&T’s “real-world” 5G trial based on dedicated backhaul
The first phase of AT&T’s business customer trial in Austin, Texas, used a single cell site to provide one building with “5G VoIP” in the 15GHz and 28GHz bands. Both of these bands are expected to be important ones in early 5G deployments [read more – subscription required].
European Council: Better mobile connectivity across Europe: Council confirms 700MHz deal
The EU is responding to the rising demand for wireless connectivity by opening a key frequency band for mobile broadband. At the same time, the new rules take account of the continuing need for adequate bandwidth for television broadcasting. On 20 January 2017 member states' ambassadors endorsed the deal concluded with the European Parliament on 14 December 2016 [read more].
Total Telecom: Austria gets to work on 5G frequency auction
Austria's telco regulator, the Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications (RTR), has announced that it has begun work on allocating 3.4GHz-3.8GHz spectrum for 5G services [read more].
Total Telecom: Australia invites bidders to 700-MHz auction
ACMA aims to raise more than A$850 million from sale of leftover digital dividend [read more].
Policy Tracker: Norway starts national FM radio switch-off today
DAB supporters say the switch is essential but one poll suggests 66% of Norwegians are against it. The first of the regions to switch off is Nordland, which will be followed by five other regions throughout the year, ending in December. Norway will be the first country to switch off FM radio [read more – subscription required].
Policy Tracker: PMSE faces uncertain future in Sweden after 2.3 GHz auction
A spokesperson for the regulator told Policy Tracker that it has not yet decided where to accommodate the 20 or so programme making and special events (PMSE) organisations currently licensed to use the band [read more – subscription required].
Policy Tracker: €500m European connectivity private equity fund could cost as much as €10m a year in management fees
Luxembourg-based Cube Infrastructure Managers could receive €100m from the European Investment Bank for helping to invest in connectivity projects across the EU. The €500m fund will be used to invest in broadband projects across EU member states with a view to modernising and expanding broadband infrastructure in more sparsely populated areas [read more – subscription required].
Total Telecom: FCC repeats accusation that AT&T, Verizon are flouting net neutrality
The US Federal Communications Commission has published a report repeating its accusation that certain zero-rated services offered by AT&T and Verizon violate net neutrality rules [read more].
Telecoms.com: FCC’s Wheeler launches one last pitch for net neutrality
Outgoing FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has sent a letter to several Senators in what appears to be a last-gasp effort to save net neutrality policies [read more].
The Verge: T-Mobile will stop selling post-paid plans with data caps
T-Mobile says that from this month forward, all of the post-paid plans it sells will offer an unlimited amount of data. John Legere, the company’s CEO, says the change reflects the way that people have begun using mobile data, where it’s in frequently the primary way they access the internet [read more].
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
Total Telecom: Yahoo confirms delay to Verizon deal closure
Yahoo has confirmed the completion of its sale to Verizon has been pushed back to the second quarter [read more].
Post & Parcel: Worldwide Express and Unishippers set to merge
A merger between Worldwide Express and Unishippers Global Logistics is on the cards [read more].
Advanced Television: Virgin Media, BT agree new mobile deal
Virgin Media and BT have announced a new five year Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) agreement. Under the new deal, EE, a BT Group company, will provide wholesale mobile network services to Virgin Media, a subsidiary of Liberty Global, the world’s largest international TV and broadband company [read more].
Total Telecom: Vodafone India seeks merger to escape price war
Vodafone is considering whether to merge its Indian unit with one of its local rivals in order to ease the pressure wrought by the market's ongoing price war, it has emerged. Operators have been lowering tariffs and launching eye-catching offers ever since newcomer Reliance Jio Infocomm began offering free nationwide calls and mobile data last September [read more].
Post & Parcel: UPS buys Freightex
UPS has bought Freightex, the UK-based “asset-light” provider of truckload, less-than-truckload, specialised and refrigerated over-the-road services [read more].
Post & Parcel: Posti buys home care services provider
Finland’s postal operator Posti has bought HR Hoiva Oy, which provides home care and personal assistance services for municipalities, joint municipal authorities and private customers [read more].
Ars Technica: AT&T and Time Warner still trying to sidestep FCC scrutiny of merger
AT&T and Time Warner say they have a plan to avoid a Federal Communications Commission review of their pending merger [read more].
Advanced Television: Liberty Global, Vodafone complete Dutch JV
International TV and broadband company Liberty Global and telco Vodafone have completed their 50:50 joint venture – first announced in February 2016 – to form Vodafone Ziggo Group Holding, which the pair say combines Ziggo’s fibre-rich broadband network with Vodafone’s market-leading mobile operation to create a stronger converged competitor in the Dutch market, delivering significant benefits for consumers, businesses and the public sector through investment in digital infrastructure and customer experience [read more].
The Verge: T-Mobile CEO says Sprint merger is ‘potential outcome’ under Trump
During T-Mobile’s Q&A session after the company’s CES event, CEO John Legere was asked about the resurgent rumours of a potential merger or combination with SoftBank/Sprint under President Donald Trump and a new FCC. He described that combination as “a potential future outcome” of a new administration and friendlier regulatory environment [read more].
Total Telecom: Vodafone NB-IoT network goes live in Spain
Vodafone's first commercial NB-IoT network went live in Spain [read more].
Telecoms.com: Microsoft kicks off fight for cloud privacy against US government
The long-awaited court battle between Microsoft and the Department of Justice has started, with the government’s snooping ambitions hanging in the balance [read more].
Ars Technica: Nissan hopes to test driverless cars on London roads next month
Driverless cars could imminently be operating on London's streets, after Nissan announced it had been cleared by the UK government to commence limited trials [read more].
Post & Parcel: Calls for EU-wide robot rules
The European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee has called for the European Commission to put forward EU-wide robotics rules, to settle issues such as compliance with ethical standards and liability for accidents involving driverless cars [read more].
Telecoms.com: Ericsson and Cisco try to save their marriage by conceiving Evolved WiFi Networks
It’s no secret that the vows exchanged between Ericsson and Cisco in November 2015 were sorely tested. But the couple seem to have decided they have something worth fighting for and, having toyed with an open relationship, they have concluded that starting a family is the way forward. The precious progeny will take the form of Evolved Wifi Networks – a splicing together of Ericsson 3GPP access and Cisco wifi DNA – which will enable Ericsson to offer wifi-on-steroids to its enterprise customers [read more].
Telecoms.com: Fiat Chrysler launches concept connected car at CES
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has released its new concept autonomous vehicle, Portal, at CES which it claims has been designed for millennials by millennials [read more].
Post & Parcel: DPD Baltics installing KEBA terminals
DPD Baltics is building up its alternative delivery options by installing outdoor automated parcel terminals from KEBA [read more].
Post & Parcel: Royal Mail: “Performance in line with expectations”
Royal Mail has reported that its performance in the first nine months of the financial year was in line with its expectations. In its trading update issued on 19th January for the nine month up to 25 December 2016, group revenue was flat, while UKPIL revenue was down 2% with parcel revenue up 3% and total letter revenue declining by 5% [read more].
Post & Parcel: ComReg “concerned” about An Post price increases
Ireland’s Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) has indicated that it is “concerned” about An Post’s 2017 price increases [read more].
Post & Parcel: IPC: Amazon, eBay and Alibaba account for two-thirds of cross-border purchases
The second edition of the International Post Corporation (IPC) cross-border e-commerce shopper survey has confirmed the leading role played by Amazon, eBay and Alibaba – who collectively account for two-thirds of cross-border purchases [read more].
Post & Parcel: Posti reports record parcel volumes
Finland’s Posti has reported that it delivered more than 34m parcels in 2016 – which was a new company record – and it will also be launching new “parcel pigeonhole” services for apartment block residents [read more].
Post & Parcel: DHL and smart driving ahead with in-car parcel delivery service
DHL Parcel and smart are expanding the coverage of their “smart ready to drop” in-car parcel delivery service in Germany [read more].
TechCrunch: What Facebook’s European payment license could mean for banks
Early in December, Facebook finally unveiled their newly acquired licenses for e-money and payment services out of Ireland. The rumours of Facebook entering the payment space in Europe have been going on ever since it was reported that Facebook applied for a money transfer license a while ago. Another clear indication of Facebook’s ambitions in payments was the hiring of former PayPal president David Marcus as head of Facebook Messenger. As Mark Zuckerberg stated in January last year, “We’ll partner with everyone who does payments” [read more].
Advanced Television: Greek TV auction must be repeated
The contentious auction of TV broadcast licences must be re-held as soon as possible, according to Greece’s Council of State, in a statement on January 13th [read more].
Advanced Television: 1 in 5 Americans won’t watch pay-TV in 2017
One in five US adults will not watch traditional pay-TV programming in 2017, according to eMarketer’s estimates. The total number of households subscribing to cable, satellite, or telco TV packages will inch down 0.7% to 98.7 million. And that figure will continue to decline in tiny increments [read more].
The Verge Mossberg: Streaming TV is beginning to look a lot like cable
Streaming TV shows, movies, and other types of video over the internet to all manner of devices, once a fringe habit is now a squarely mainstream practice. Even people still paying for cable or satellite service often also have Netflix or Hulu accounts. Nearly every traditional TV network, sports league, or video service — even that are still primarily grounded in cable or satellite — has a channel or app for playing video on everything from set-top boxes and “smart” TVs to mobile phones [read more].
Advanced Television: Apple planning original content
Apple is preparing a move into original content production as it seeks to take on the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video [read more].
European Commission: New EU Code Week record: A million coded during the 2016 edition
Last year, almost one million people (970,000) took part in one of the 23,000 EU Code Week 2016 events that took place in more than 50 countries around the world – a 70% increase in participants from 2015. Almost half (46%) of the people creating with code were girls or women and the average age of a coder was 11 years. 2017 marks the fifth anniversary of Europe Code Week, which will take place during two weeks – 7-22 October – to cater for different periods of school holidays in European countries [read more].
Total Telecom: BT Italy scandal deepens, write-down grows to £530m
BT issued a profit warning after revealing that the accounting scandal at its Italian business is bigger than first thought [read more].
Total Telecom: Bharti Airtel fiscal Q3 profit plummets amid price war
Bharti Airtel has reported a 54.6% fall in fiscal third quarter profit, as the price war sparked by Reliance Jio Infocomm's aggressive tactics weighed on revenue [read more].
ENISA: ENISA report on blockchain technology and security
Blockchain is a distributed ledger which maintains all transactions and assets and is updated by a number of counterparties. Financial institutions are investing in the technology - in what is hoped - to automate processes and remove “human” errors. This may help towards lowering transactional and operational costs by releasing the finance sector from its legacy systems [read more].
Ofcom: SMEs and communications services
A survey of 1501 SMEs (0-249 employees) was undertaken by Ofcom using CATI (computer aided telephone interviewing). The survey data were weighted to be representative of the SME universe on size. Fieldwork took place between 9 May and 18 July 2016 [read more].
The information contained in this newsletter is for general information purposes only and while we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the information contained therein. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.