#KlubRadio #Hungary @NeelieKroesEU
A Hungarian court has ruled that KlubRadio can continue broadcasting (subject to appeal). Also, Neelie Kroes has explained to Hungarian MEPs why her actions are needed and within her mandate. See latest open letter here:
#KlubRadio #Hungary @NeelieKroesEU
Investing in new and better broadband is expensive. The EU voted on Friday to make it cheaper. Full text of the agreement is here: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/128520.pdf
This story from Agence France Press, about tells it all about roaming. Even the mobile industry hates and fears roaming charges, if the people at the world’s largest mobile event - Mobile World Congress - are anything to go by. Key quotes:
“We probably have two-thirds of the people here who have turned off their data, because they’re scared to death of the roaming prices, and we’re talking about people from the telecom world!” noted Jeff Gordon, chief executive of Syniverse, which deals with roaming issues for 700 mobile operators across the world.
According to Syniverse, out of 75 million people who travel to another country in a month, close to 70 percent never use the data service and half make no calls at all. Analyst firm Greenwich Consulting estimates that data roaming alone is an untapped 1.5 billion euro business in Europe alone.
“A smartphone is a great travelling companion and data services should be kept on rather than turned off, as they are today,” said Magnus Rehle, director of the consultancy.
“The prices of international roaming have got to come down. None of us like surprises, we don’t want to have to live in fear of the 5,000 euro bill,” noted Gordon.
#broadband #DAE #DSM12
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso was banging the broadband drum yesterday and today ahead of the Summit of European heads of state and government.
“We need to cut the cost of broadband roll-out. A study we released yesterday shows that €110 billion a year could be generated – more than 0.8% of GDP if the internal market for electronic communications were completed.”
Barroso’s full speech here: SPEECH/12/135
European Commission Vice President Kroes and Luigi Gambardella, Executive Board Chairman of European Telecoms Network Operators (ETNO) have issued a statement on their shared commitment to EU ICT research, following a meeting in Brussels today
“Information and Communication Technology is responsible for half of Europe’s productivity growth and a quarter of our GDP growth. ICT is therefore at the heart of our economy.
ICT research and development also plays a large and growing role in overall European research – constituting already 25% of business R&D. In the recent past, an initial €120 million EU investment enabled today’s 3G mobile market - now worth €250 billion.
Further public investment in ICT research and development, as outlined in the Commission’s ambitious Horizon 2020 proposals, would enable further successes like this. Horizon 2020 is therefore key to Europe’s future competitiveness and tackling our essential social challenges - these investments will help create tomorrow’s jobs and growth.”
Neelie Kroes was surprised to read the comments at 2012 Mobile World Congress of Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao - and she has this to say in response:
“Message to Vittorio and Vodafone: I call your bluff, and indeed do not respond well to threats. I take the side of the Vodafone customer. And I remind everyone that we want to get the mobile sector more spectrum and a bigger market. A fair competition in roaming is a good exchange for those opportunities. Remember, if consumers lose their fear of using their smartphones and tablets when travelling across Europe, operators will benefit as well.”
Vodafone’s comments are here:
Kroes’ speech from yesterday on Boosting Mobile Broadband, is here
In the speech she explained the mobile would play a very big role in future fast broadband in Europe, would support it with more spectrum and announced her support for the simplest way to reduce data roaming prices: a permanent solution known as “local break-out”, which allows users to choose the best offer like they would choose a WiFi network. “Local break-out is the best answer for data users: it is a simple solution, a boost for competition and consumer confidence,” Kroes said
It’s been fascinating to read the very divergent coverage of the Commission’s decision to refer ACTA text to the European Court of Justice. This seems the wisest course of action given the concerns raised about people’s freedoms.
The Commission decision to do this was both consensual and discussed in advance. Anyone suggesting otherwise is either not in possession of the facts or is misrepresenting them.
The full remarks of the EU Trade Commissioner (Karel de Gucht) are here
Neelie has just blogged about her reaction to the White House’s support for a Do Not Track standard for web privacy.
This standard has been a long-held goal of Kroes and the Commission, backed through workshops and discussions for more than a year. Good to see this movement from the States.
A frequent question I get is “what are the latest EU broadband statistics?”.
We tend to get updates twice a year, and in order make sure the statistics are solid, and not just PR puff, it takes about six months for full verification, which is why we don’t have minute by minute statistics on this sort of thing.
A one line summary would be – doing very well on basic and mobile broadband, but progress on very fast fibre broadband is moving more slowly. We almost have 100% broadband coverage in Europe now.