EU antitrust chief warns against telecoms mergers  

EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager has issued a stern warning against further consolidation in the bloc's telecommunications industry, countering a recent EU report that advocated for mergers among operators to bolster networks.

Speaking at a conference in Brussels, Vestager forcefully rejected the notion that more concentrated national telecoms markets would lead to better outcomes.

"No evidence suggests that more concentrated national markets lead to better...

UK led European full fibre rollout in 2023 but lags in uptake

The UK added 4.7 million homes to its full fibre broadband footprint in the year leading up to September 2023, outpacing every other European country.

According to the latest market report from the FTTH Council Europe, this rapid expansion brought the UK's total fibre homes passed to 17.1 million—ranking it third in Europe behind France (26.3 million) and Turkey (18 million).

Given the UK's population size and need to catch up on fibre deployment, its leading position...

UK to rejoin EU’s Copernicus and Horizon schemes

In a step forward for European space and scientific collaboration, the UK is set to rejoin the Copernicus and Horizon Europe programs. 

The UK was a major expertise and financial contributor to both programs prior to its decision to leave the EU. The EU blocked an agreement in the Brexit deal for the UK to become an associate member of Horizon over the long-running dispute over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

A resolution to the dispute was reached under the Windsor...

EU greenlights Vodafone-Altice FTTH plans

The EU Commission has given the green light to a joint venture between Vodafone and Altice to deploy fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) across Germany.

The joint venture is called FibreCo and will see the partners deploy FTTH to up to seven million homes over a six-year period.

Nick Read, CEO of Vodafone Group, commented:

“This partnership builds on Vodafone’s significant next-generation network with Altice’s industrial expertise and proven Fibre-to-the-Home...

Half of Brits think European roaming fees are ‘unfair’

Half of Brits think it’s unfair they have to pay additional charges for using their mobile devices while travelling elsewhere in Europe.

That was the key finding from a survey conducted by Virgin Media O2. As it’s keen to point out, it was the only UK operator not to reintroduce EU roaming fees post-Brexit.

Gareth Turpin, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Media O2, said:

“We know that many people will be cost-conscious when going on holiday this year,...

Pro-Kremlin hackers attack EU Parliament website

Pro-Kremlin hacking group KILLNET has launched a “sophisticated” cyberattack on the EU Parliament website.

The attack was launched after the Parliament designated Russia a state sponsor of terrorism:

https://twitter.com/EP_President/status/1595443471518777345

Users were unable to access the Parliament’s website for a few hours and some parts were rendered inoperable. As of writing, access has been restored.

In a Telegram post, KILLNET claimed...

GSMA: EU’s slow 5G rollout threatens ‘Digital Decade’ goals

The GSMA warns that a slow 5G rollout in the EU compared to rival markets threatens the bloc’s “Digital Decade” goals.

In the 2022 Mobile Economy Europe report, the GSMA notes that 108 operators in 34 markets had launched commercial 5G services at the end of June. Six percent of Europeans are now enjoying 5G.

Norway is leading 5G adoption, with 16 percent of citizens using the latest mobile network technology. The GSMA notes that “positive momentum” is also...

Ericsson announces ‘indefinite suspension’ of its Russian business

Ericsson has announced an “indefinite suspension” of its business in Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The uncovering of further war crimes by Russian forces in areas like Bucha and Irpin has led to additional sanctions from much of the international community. Sweden-based Ericsson says the EU’s increased sanctions played a part in its decision.

In a statement, Ericsson wrote:

“In the light of recent events and of European Union...

European operators want platforms to contribute towards infrastructure

A number of large European operators are calling for content platforms to contribute towards the cost of infrastructure.

In a joint statement, the CEOs of Vodafone, Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom, and Orange have expressed their opinion that content platforms should contribute towards building the connectivity infrastructure they rely on.

“The current situation is simply not sustainable. The investment burden must be shared in a more proportionate way,” claim the...

Virgin Media O2 humiliates rivals by not reinstating EU roaming fees

Virgin Media O2 is taking a playbook once written by rival Three and will buck the trend of reinstating EU roaming charges.

Gareth Turpin, Chief Commercial Officer of Mobile at Virgin Media O2, said:

“We’re starting the year by giving our customers some certainty: we will not be reintroducing roaming fees in Europe for customers on O2 or Virgin Mobile.

Unlike all the other major mobile networks who are bringing back roaming fees, we will not be following suit....