24th and 28th October: FSR C&M Annual Training
A representative of the MCA attended the first block of the ‘Annual Training on Business Models, Innovation and Regulation of the Digital World’ organised by the Florence School of Regulation between the 24th and 28th October 2016 in Florence, Italy. The training focused on competition and regulation in the Telecoms sector. A number of topics were discussed, amongst which:
The lecturers were all prominent representatives from academia, public institutions (EU Commission and National Regulatory Authorities) as well as private companies.
19th October 2016: Communications Committee (COCOM) 65th Meeting
An MCA representative participated in the 65th Communications Committee (COCOM) Meeting, which was held on the 19th October 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. The Committee adopted BEREC’s calculation of the weighted average of maximum mobile termination rates which serves as the cap for roaming incoming calls under the TSM Regulation. Besides having provided a summary of the comments received to its draft implementing act on roaming, fair use and sustainability, the Committee also held an explanatory discussion of the main issues identified.
17th October 2016: ERGP 2016 – Plenary – 2nd Contact Network Meeting
A representative of the MCA attended the second ERGP Contact Network Meeting which was held on the 17th October 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. The meeting served to finalize a number of reports in preparation for the upcoming Plenary meeting in Naples on the 24th and 25th November 2016.
13th October 2016: 6th Meeting of the eCommerce Experts Group
An MCA representatives attended the 16th meeting of the eCommerce Experts Group, which was held on the 13th October 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the results of the public consultation held on the role of online platforms and intermediaries, and to take stock on the comprehensive assessment conducted by the Commission in this regard. Other topics tackled during the meeting centred around copyright and the collaborative economy.
11th October 2016: Readie Policy Summit – Digital, Done Better
An MCA representative participated in the Readie Policy Summit entitled Digital, Done Better on the 11th October 2016 in Berlin, Germany. Senior policy officers and experts from across Europe debated the enormous opportunities and challenges that digital developments, such as job automation and the impact of sharing economy, bring to businesses and societies. Discussions focused on the policies that are currently fostering entrepreneurship and business growth which in turn can make Europe the most digitally advanced region in the world.
11th October 2016: BEREC’s Remedies MEA Expert Working Group Meeting
A representative of the MCA attended BEREC’s Remedies MEA EWG meeting on the 11th October 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. The discussion’s main focuses were the draft ‘Phase 3 Common Position Monitoring Report’, the draft ‘Article 7/7a Guidelines Report’ and the PRDs of the EWG for the year 2017. In regards to the review of the draft ‘Phase 3 Common Position Monitoring Report’, emphasis was on how NRA approaches have changed over a course of 3 years when carrying out marketing analysis. Insight was also provided on the different approaches adopted by NRAs when dealing with regulatory aspects concerning products and products based on NGA technology. Note was also made of the fact that over the last 3 years, several NRAs have found markets 3A/3B to be (prospectively) competitive and therefore no remedies were imposed in such instances. On the Article 7/7A Guidelines Report, the EWG was presented with a number of recommendations and new guidelines on the draft Article 7. The new guidelines proposed for selecting rapporteurs dealing with Article 7/7A Phase II cases such as the setting of a permanent pool of rapporteurs. Regarding the PRDs of the EWG for next year, the topics will be the imposition of symmetric access obligations; fixed-to-mobile convergence; and input on the Termination Rates Recommendation.
6th and 8th October 2016: Telecentre-Europe General Assembly 2016
An MCA official attended the Telecentre-Europe General Annual Assembly which was held between the 6th and 8th October 2016 in Ghent, Belgium. Over 100 invited participants took part in this 3-day event which was co-organised with Digipolis Gent and the I-LINK Platform. The event featured keynote speeches, interactive sessions, networking and sharing, an award ceremony followed by a reception, guided visits to local telecentres and participants also had the opportunity to experience cutting edge technologies at the Ghent Interactive Digital Fair.
6th and 7th October 2016: IRG BEREC 3rd Plenary Meeting
MCA representatives participated in the IRG / BEREC 3rd Plenary Meeting between the 6th and 7th October 2016 in Vilnius, Lithuania. During the meeting, BEREC approved its draft 2017 Work Programme for public consultation and had a first exchange of views with the Commission on the draft proposals which were published by the same Commission on 14th September, regarding next year’s review of the Electronic Communications Framework. BEREC also adopted a report on challenges and drivers of NGA rollout and infrastructure competition, based on Member State case studies. The report identifies exogenous investment drivers (including rollout costs and demand-side factors) and considers how regulators have used their regulatory toolbox to foster NGA rollout in the different national markets. Of particular interest, in light of the international roaming provisions of the TSM Regulation taking effect on 25th November 2015, BEREC published its latest benchmark report on international roaming, providing an overview of average wholesale and retail prices for voice, SMS and data roaming for the period between 1st October 2015 and 31st March 2016.
5th and 6th October 2016: ECS – Galileo – GNSS Programmes Committee
A representative of the MCA attended the GNSS Programmes Committee between the 5th and 6th October 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. The meeting’s agenda included the GALILEO Programme Management, Infrastructure Deployment, the use of GALILEO in the aviation industry, Security Risks, GALILEO Exploitation and the Draft Commission Implementing Decision on the services offered by GALILEO. While a number of issues were highlighted and being worked upon in order to avoid jeopardising the whole project, improvements and advances were carried out in all fronts of the GALILEO project. The ESA and the Commission, amongst other operational matters, are now actively working on defining a set of services that can be commercially deployed over the GALILEO constellation of satellites.
5th and 6th October 2016: 57th Radio Spectrum Committee Meeting
An MCA representative participated in the 57th Radio Spectrum Committee Meeting which was held between the 5th and 6th October 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. The meeting considered a number of topics intending to harmonise spectrum for the provision of electronic communications networks, as well as for short range devices. The meeting has also considered a draft mandate to CEPT to develop harmonised technical conditions for 5G terrestrial wireless systems in the EU.
Postcodes to be Considered as an Integral Part of a Postal Address
Published on 21st October 2016: http://bit.ly/2eFdNdy
MCA annual Report and financial Statements 2016
Published on 19th October 2016: http://bit.ly/2ekbtLL
BEREC 4th Stakeholder Forum – Enhancing Connectivity and Innovation in Europe
Published on 17th October 2016 - http://bit.ly/2ejrOwM
MCA End-User Half Yearly Report January – June 2016
Published on 7th October 2016: http://bit.ly/2eFaOl9
For the second year running, the MCA has organised Budding Rockstars
More than 120 primary school children participated in a coding event as part of SME Week
MCA representatives’ participation in radio programmes.
|26.10.16||'L-Informatika u s-Soċjetà' - Radju Marija|
|Coding u Programming - Matthew Borg + Kevin Carbonaro + Rozanne Degiorgio Delmar|
|19.10.16||'L-Informatika u s-Soċjetà' - Radju Marija|
|L-użu sikur tal-Internet - Mark Spiteri|
|12.10.16||'L-Informatika u s-Soċjetà' - Radju Marija|
|Kollaborazzjoni ma' JOBS+ - Mark Schembri|
|06.10.16||'Kuntatt' - Radju Marija|
|Jum Dinji Postali - Yanika Cassar|
|05.10.16||'L-Informatika u s-Soċjetà' - Radju Marija|
|Il-Ħarsien tal-Konsumatur - Matthew Farrugia|
Seminars/courses involving Legal
EurActiv : EU considers concession to telecom firms to end roaming charges
Mobile telecoms operators across Europe could be allowed to charge each other higher fees for keeping customers connected when they travel abroad, under a Spanish proposal to help firms recoup their costs when roaming charges are abolished [read more].
Total Telecom : Vodafone fined £4.6m for poor customer service
Ofcom has fined Vodafone UK £4.6 million (€5.1 million) for problems experienced by prepaid customers that were caused by Vodafone's bungled migration to a new billing system [read more].
EurActiv : ECJ rules in favour of Germany in IP address squabble
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on 19th October that Germany’s government may collect and save the log data of visitors to its websites, in order for it to better resist hackers [read more].
Reuters: Vodafone Portugal sees favourable EU decision on network access
Vodafone expects the European Commission to force Portuguese authorities to open access to Altice's fibre optic network to rivals, which should boost competition in the telecoms sector, the head of Vodafone's Portuguese unit said [read more].
Total Telecom: Dutch net neutrality law puts Digital Single Market at risk – GSMA
Strict net neutrality rules adopted by the Netherlands are jeopardising the development of the Digital Single Market (DSM), the GSMA has warned [read more].
Ars Technica: Digital Economy Bill: Why the Tories want to police more of the online world
Nine days before then culture secretary John Whittingdale was sacked by Prime Minister Theresa May, he introduced a new draft Digital Economy Bill to parliament. Scrutiny of that proposed legislation will get underway, when a public bills committee will convene for the first time to pore over the plans, which seek tougher sentences for copyright offenders, an overhaul to the regulation of the UK's telecoms infrastructure, age verification for porn sites, minimum broadband speeds of 10Mbps for Brits, and to increase sharing of citizen data [read more].
Advanced Television: Comcast hit with $2.3m wrongful charges fine
The Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau has levied a $2.3 million fine on Comcast Corporation to resolve an investigation into whether the company wrongfully charged cable TV customers for services and equipment that those customers never authorised [read more].
Cullen International: MEPs concerned about scope of geo-blocking proposal
Members of the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) committee expressed on September 29, 2016 concerns about the scope of the Commission proposal for a regulation to tackle geo-blocking [read more – subscription required].
EurActiv: Commission plans cybersecurity rules for internet-connected machines
The European Commission is getting ready to propose new legislation to protect machines from cybersecurity breaches, signalling the executive’s growing interest in encouraging traditional European manufacturers to build more devices that are connected to the internet [read more].
Advanced Television: Sky calls for BT Openreach separation
Andrew Griffith, chief operating officer and CFO of Sky, has called for Openreach, BT’s broadband infrastructure arm, to be separated from the telco to fix what he calls “Britain’s lagging Internet” [read more].
Total Telecom: Nokia calls on Europe to retake digital initiative
Nokia has highlighted the widening gap between Europe and the rest of the world when it comes to tech investment and deployment, and called on industry players to do whatever it takes to regain the digital initiative [read more].
Policy Tracker: Brussels pledges €120m for free Wi-Fi project without consultation
Wi-Fi4EU was announced by European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker in his September state of the union speech but more details came to light, raising questions about the viability of the project [read more – subscription required].
Policy Tracker: Despite all the preparation, there's not much actual sharing yet
Although many spectrum sharing studies and pilots are taking place in several bands, actual sharing uptake remains limited. That could change in the next year or two as companies vie to launch services in the 3.5GHz band, made available in the US by the Federal Communications Commission for a citizens' broadband radio service [read more – subscription required].
Policy Tracker: BMW exec hopes for dedicated mobile broadband spectrum
Martin Arend, general manager of the automaker's end-to-end architecture and technologies, has told an industry conference that dedicated spectrum would be "very, very helpful" for the development of connected cars [read more – subscription required].
Policy Tracker: Ofcom wants to stay involved in Europe, whatever BEREC’s role
UK regulator Ofcom will continue to be involved in Europe regardless of the status of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC), chief executive Sharon White says [read more – subscription required].
Policy Tracker: EC report claims 5G to bring annual benefits of over €100bn
An analysis produced for the European Commission (EC) has concluded that 5G rollout will cost around €56.6 billion in 2020 but will bring in around €113.1 billion per year by 2025. But one telecoms analyst questioned the study's assumptions and methodology [read more – subscription required].
Policy Tracker: UK minister - fibre to the home is the way forward
“Fibre is the future," says Matt Hancock, a minister at the UK's Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS). "The market will have to lead and government will support. I want to know what we can do to support a full-fibre roll-out." [read more – subscription required].
Advanced Television: Italy resolves TV frequency interference
Italy is close to ending the 30-year long problem of TV frequency interferences with neighbouring countries, which led the ITU to install proceedings [read more].
Policy Tracker: Italy to put an end to cross-border interference at 700MHz?
The Italian government has agreed to a November switch-off date for regional broadcasting services that interfere with broadcasters and FM radio services in neighbouring countries [read more – subscription required].
Policy Tracker: Warning that Europe won't have enough spectrum for 5G is "industry hype"
A report produced for the European Commission says there may not be enough spectrum to deliver the economic benefits and jobs that 5G is expected to offer, and calls for an urgent rethink of spectrum allocation and sharing principles. But one technology expert says the idea that billions of Internet of Things devices will be able to run on 5G is unrealistic [read more – subscription required].
Total Telecom: US Cellular, Nokia in 5G fixed wireless test
US Cellular and Nokia have announced that they conducted indoor and outdoor 5G tests to evaluate its potential use for fixed wireless services [read more].
Policy Tracker: RSPG backs 26GHz band for 5G in Europe
28GHz is off the table at the moment, but the Radio Spectrum Policy Group is not completely ruling out its use at a later stage [read more – subscription required].
Policy Tracker: Brussels inquiry could derail Poland’s 800MHz spectrum assignments
The European Commission has sent a letter to the Polish government about last year’s 800MHz spectrum auction amid concerns that it may have infringed EU law [read more – subscription required].
Total Telecom:: India spectrum auction ends, falls well short of target
India's biggest ever spectrum sale has been concluded, falling well below expectations [read more].
European Commission: The adoption of a directive on the accessibility of the sector bodies' websites and mobile apps
On 26 October 2016 the European Parliament approved the directive on making the websites and mobile apps of public sector bodies more accessible. This means that people with disabilities – especially persons with vision or hearing impairments – will have better access to the websites and mobile applications of public services [read more].
Total Telecom: BT to replace London phone boxes with WiFi kiosks
BT has unveiled plans to replace its London phone boxes with high-speed WiFi kiosks [read more].
Advanced Television: Netflix: ‘AT&T – TW deal mustn’t harm neutrality
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told a WSJ event he was in favour of AT&T’s planned $85.4 billion buy of Time Warner, provided that his streaming company ‘continued to be treated fairly.’ He said it was critical that Netflix’s content be treated the same as Time Warner’s once the deal takes effect [read more].
Advanced Television: 63% US broadband homes subscribe to OTT
Parks Associates has released its updated top 10 list for US subscription OTT video services, based on number of subscribers, with Netflix retaining its top position while services Sling TV, Showtime, and CBS moved up or entered the list over the past year [read more].
Total Telecom: Google halts fibre rollout, plans job cuts
Google has put the brakes on its fibre deployment as it looks to adopt an alternative technology, most likely point-to-point wireless [read more].
The Verge: Faster Wi-Fi will be in smartphones and laptops next year
Wi-Fi is about to get much, much faster. The Wi-Fi Alliance is now beginning to certify smartphones, laptops, routers, and other devices that include a super-fast Wi-Fi standard called WiGig, which nearly doubles Wi-Fi’s current top speed. The Alliance says it’ll be in “marquee” smartphones and laptops next year [read more].
Advanced Television; London calls for subsidised broadband
The Local Government Association is calling on the government to include a social tariff in its universal service obligation for broadband. The subsidy would give low-income families a basic service of at least 10Mbps, it said. According to an LGA report, one in four adults lacks basic online skills [read more].
European Commission: Mobile Broadband Prices in Europe 2016
The European Commission has published a study on mobile broadband prices. The study monitors mobile broadband prices in the EU28 and some non-EU countries (Norway, Iceland, Turkey, Japan, South Korea and the USA). Pricing information of 85 mobile operators and 2575 mobile broadband offers (for use with laptop, tablet or handset) is collected and compared [read more].
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
Total Telecom: AT&T to test regulators' resolve with $85.4bn Time Warner acquisition
AT&T has agreed an $85.4 billion (€78.4 billion) acquisition of Time Warner, a deal that promises to turn the US telco into a content powerhouse, provided it passes muster with the regulators [read more].
Total Telecom: Italy approves 3 Italia/Wind tie-up
Italy's government has given the go-ahead for 3 Italia and Wind's €21.8 billion merger, announced 3 Italia parent CK Hutchison [read more].
Total Telecom: Qualcomm ramps up IoT strategy with $47bn NXP acquisition
Qualcomm has agreed to acquire Netherland's-based chip maker NXP in a transaction worth $47 billion (€42.96 billion). US-based Qualcomm said the deal gives it a leading position in the markets for automotive, security, network processing and RF power, and IoT semiconductors, and complements its mobile processor and modem businesses [read more].
The Verge: AT&T to buy HBO, CNN, and the rest of Time Warner for more than $80 billion
The Wall Street Journal reported that AT&T has reached a deal to acquire Time Warner for more than $80 billion. News of the merger first surfaced on 21st October, when Reuters and Bloomberg reported that the deal could top $85 billion [read more].
The Economist: Known unknown
Competition between currencies is the stuff libertarian dreams are made of—and central bankers’ nightmares too. Already digital monies, in particular Bitcoin and Ethereum, are rivals. On October 28th a new crypto-currency will join the fray: Zcash. Many such “altcoins” are dubious affairs and don’t add much. But this one brings important innovations [read more].
Total Telecom: Vodafone reveals NB-IoT rollout plan
Vodafone has announced that it will begin launching its narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) networks in major European markets during the first quarter of 2017 [read more].
Total Telecom: Vodafone UK, PayPal strike NFC payments partnership
Vodafone UK has announced that its m-payment service now supports PayPal. It means PayPal users can link their account to Vodafone Pay, and make contactless purchases of up to £30 in 400,000 locations. PayPal can also be used on London's transport network, and national rail services in and around London that accept contactless payments [read more].
Total Telecom: Deutsche Telekom seeks to tackle IoT fragmentation
Deutsche Telekom has made a bid to tackle fragmentation in the IoT market with the launch of a multi-IoT platform. As the name suggests, it brings together IoT platforms from different, well-known providers to enable device-independent use of IoT solutions [read more].
Out-Law.com: 'UK first' as driverless cars are tested in public
A trial of the vehicle, named Selenium, took place in Milton Keyes on pavements around the town's train station and business district [read more].
Total Telecom: Vodafone joins 5G Automotive Association
Vodafone became the first telco to join the recently-formed 5G Automotive Association (5GAA). The industry group was established in late September by German car makers Audi, BMW and Daimler, as well as telco vendors Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia, and chip makers Intel and Qualcomm [read more].
Post & Parcel: PostNL installing parcel and letter machines in Almere
PostNL is installing new machines in the city of Almere which feature both parcel lockers and letterboxes [read more].
Post & Parcel: UPU: “The Post must transform itself to be relevant in the future”
In a statement issued on 11 October to sum up the Universal Postal Congress which took place in Istanbul over the past three weeks, the Universal Postal Union’s (UPU) UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein said: “The message to us has been that the UPU must transform and the Post must be able to transform itself if we are to be relevant in the future.” [read more].
Post & Parcel: PostNL rate increases
PostNL will be increasing the rates for both international and domestic letters on 1 January [read more].
Post & Parcel: UPU member countries adopt new terminal dues system
Member countries of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) have agreed to adopt a new terminal dues system, following discussions at the UPU Congress currently taking place in Istanbul [read more].
eCommerce News: 80% of European online shoppers will spend more for free delivery
More than three-quarters of online shoppers in Europe are willing to exceed the minimum order thresholds if this means they will get free delivery or collection. But at the same time, 63% would likely switch to another retailer if they have a poor experience with delivery or click & collect [read more].
European Commission: 88% of websites compliant with consumer rules after EU-wide sweep
If you are a consumer buying online such products as fashion accessories, household appliances or electronic goods, you should pay extra attention before you click on "buy" as it may be difficult to exercise your consumer rights [read more].
eCommerce News: 54% of Europeans regularly make mobile payments
A new study shows that 54% of European consumers regularly use their mobile device to make payments. The number of consumers making mobile payments has tripled in the past year, as 18% used mobile payments to pay for goods and services last year [read more].
eCommerce News: ‘Europe relatively low adoption of online groceries’
Ecommerce now accounts for 4.4% of all FMCG sales, research shows. Grocery ecommerce is set to grow to 9 percent of the market and be worth 135 billion euros by 2025. In Europe, the UK and France are the countries with the highest online value share of the FMCG market, but the continent is lagging behind Asia [read more].
EurActiv: Court rules Greek government-led auction on TV licences is flawed
Senior Greek judges ruled on 26th October that an auction of TV licences held by the left-led government in September was flawed; throwing into disarray a crusade by authorities to shake up an unregulated broadcasting sector [read more].
EurActiv: Commission wants fast internet in schools to fix digital illiteracy problem
The European Commission has been coaxing member states to improve technology education in an effort to cut unemployment and help companies as they rely more on internet-connected programmes and machines [read more].
Advanced Television: Millennials & TV: Big appetites, little patience
TiVo has released follow-up findings from its 2016 TiVo consumer survey, focusing on the behaviour of US millennials and how this coveted demographic interacts with video content, products and services in contrast to other generations [read more].
Out-Law.com: Singapore launches digital public services agency
The new Government Technology Agency, or GovTech, aims to provide "better and more citizen-centric services", it said in a statement [read more].
European Commission: EU eGovernment Report 2016 shows that online public services improved unevenly
A new study on eGovernment services in the EU reveals that online public services are becoming increasingly accessible across Europe. However, it also shows that growth is uneven and a substantial number of EU countries are still lagging behind [read more].
The Washington Post: Facebook is talking to the White House about giving you ‘free’ Internet. Here’s why that may be controversial
Facebook has been in talks for months with U.S. government officials and wireless carriers with an eye toward unveiling an American version of an app that has caused controversy abroad, according to multiple people familiar with the matter [read more].
TechCrunch; Pew - younger people actually prefer reading the news to watching it
Well, great news for all those media publishers investing in video in hopes of better catering to young adults: a new study released by the Pew Research Center found that younger people are actually more interested in reading the news than watching it. Meanwhile, it’s the older generation who prefers watching the news instead of reading, Pew found [read more].
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