Interoute eyes roll-up of European and U.S. cloud network firms

Currently, around 25 percent of European data traffic flow over its networks

Reuters

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Britain's Interoute, a high-capacity data network and corporate cloud services provider, is taking on new private equity investors to fund acquisitions across Europe and the United States, the company said on Monday.

Aleph Capital Partners, a UK investment firm headed by former Goldman Sachs European private equity investment chief Hugues Lepic, and Crestview Partners, a U.S. private equity firm founded by ex-Goldman colleagues, have agreed to buy a 30 percent stake in London-based Interoute.

China's Huawei given clean bill of health by UK security board

Could serve as model for governments, operators and equipment providers to work together on cyber security

Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the telecoms equipment company whose products are now integral to various mobile and fixed-line networks, poses no threat to Britain's national security, a board established to monitor the company's operations said.

The world's second largest telecoms equipment maker set up an independent cyber security evaluation center in Oxford in 2010 in conjunction with the government to check whether its equipment could pose a threat to national security.

EU plans to tackle online barriers in digital single market

Commission sees a useful way to revive growth in stagnating EU economies

Reuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Germans should be able to buy books from British online retailers and Italians ought to have access to movies on sites in Belgium, according to EU draft proposals on Wednesday setting priorities to boost Europe's digital economy.

Along with outline proposals to limit national control of mobile phone frequencies and simplify cross-border VAT sales taxes for small businesses, the European Commission sees the promotion of online trading across the bloc as a useful way to revive growth in stagnating EU economies.

Battle for African Internet users stirs freedom fears

Critics say big service providers and Internet companies are driven by ad revenues

Reuters

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Google and Facebook are at the forefront of a scramble to win over new African Internet users, offering freebies they say give a leg-up to the poor but which critics argue is a plan to lock in customers on a continent of 1 billion people.

Africa's Internet penetration will reach 50 percent by 2025 and there are expected to be 360 million smartphones on the continent by then, roughly double the number in the United States currently, Mckinsey Consultants data shows.

Africa had 16 percent Internet penetration and 67 million smartphones in 2013.

FCC inches toward reforming airwave auction discounts

Most complex and biggest auction yet is expected in 2016

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. regulators are moving forward with plans to change the rules for government airwaves auctions to prevent big companies from tapping a discount program intended for small businesses, according to an FCC official familiar with the matter.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler on Monday circulated a so-called "public notice" to the rest of the commissioners, seeking further comments on specific proposals for how to reform a bidding discount program that has recently come under fire, the official said.

Ethiopia launches 4G mobile service in the capital

African telecoms surging, with subscribers across the continent near 650 million in 2013

Reuters

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopia's state-run telecoms monopoly has launched a fourth generation (4G) mobile service in the capital Addis Ababa, aiming to catch up with the high-speed communications available in some east African neighbors such as Kenya and Uganda.

Africa's telecoms industry is booming, with subscribers across the continent totaling almost 650 million in 2013, up from just 25 million in 2001, according to the World Bank.

But analysts say high-speed connections are vital to maintaining growth and supporting the wider economy.

China's Huawei leads international patent filings: WIPO

Viewed as barometer of a country's technological progress, China sees double-digit growth in filings

Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd became the world's No. 1 applicant for international patents in 2014, a United Nations agency said Thursday, underscoring the innovative strides made by Chinese technology companies.

Huawei was followed by San Diego-based chipmaker Qualcomm Inc while Huawei's crosstown rival ZTE Corp, which was the world's leading applicant in 2012, took third place in its number of filings, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

U.S labor board says some T-Mobile policies are illegal

NLRB says 'revise or rescind the unlawful rules'

Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. National Labor Relations Board ruled that certain labor policies of wireless carrier T-Mobile US Inc were unfair, including some practices that discouraged workers from organizing.

NLRB Judge Christine Dibble said in an order on Wednesday that several provisions in T-Mobile's employee handbook, code of conduct, confidentiality agreement and form asking employee's to comply with unlawful work rules were unfair labor practices.

U.S. trade groups seen leading lawsuits against new Internet rules

CTIA, NCTA and USTelecom expected to challenge FCC's 'Net Neutrality'

Reuters

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Trade associations representing large U.S. Internet service providers are expected to take the lead in suing the Federal Communications Commission over its new web traffic regulations, according to several people familiar with the plan.

U.S. telecom and cable firms have said they would challenge the FCC's latest "net neutrality" rules in court. But at least some companies, including Verizon Communications Inc, are currently not planning to bring individual lawsuits and instead aim to participate through trade groups, the sources said.

Boeing eyes satellite deal with tech giant this year

Aims to drive down the cost of satellite comms to compete with terrestrial price points

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Boeing Co on Monday said it could clinch a deal this year to build a high-throughput communications satellite for top technology companies such as Google Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Facebook Inc or Apple Inc.

Jim Simpson, vice president of business development and chief strategist for Boeing Network and Space Systems, told Reuters the big technology firms were keen to expand Internet access around the world to help them grow.

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