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Qualcomm Disagrees with Decision by Taiwan Fair Trade Commission and Intends to Seek a Stay and Appeal the Decision

SAN DIEGO , Oct.andnbsp;Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) today announced that the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission (TFTC) has reached a decision in the TFTC’s investigation, stating in a press release that certain of the Company’s business practices are in violation of Taiwanese competition law and imposing a fine of approximately $ 23.4 billion Taiwan dollars (approximately $ 773 million US dollars at current exchange rates). Qualcomm disagrees with the decision summarized in the TFTC’s press release and intends to seek to stay any required behavioral measures and appeal the decision to the Taiwanese courts after receiving the TFTC’s formal decision, which is expected in the next several weeks. The fine bears no rational relationship to the amount of Qualcomm’s revenues or activities in Taiwan , and Qualcomm will appeal the amount of the fine and the method used to calculate it. Click here for more.

Cellular News

Airborne Wireless Network riceve l’approvazione della Federal Communications Commission (Commissione Federale per le Comunicazioni) per sottoporre a test il sistema dimostrativo

andnbsp;Airborne Wireless Network (OTCQB: ABWN), è lieta di annunciare di avere ricevuto un certificato sperimentale operativo dalla Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” – Commissione Federale per le Comunicazioni), numero fascicolo 0378-EX-ST-2017X.andnbsp;L’approvazione della FCC consentirà ad ABWN di testare a terra e in volo il proprio sistema dimostrativo durante lo sviluppo di Infinitus Super Highway™ , il sistema di comunicazioni aria-aria brevettato dalla Società. L’approvazione della FCC consente alla Società di eseguire test a terra e nell’area in cui verranno eseguiti i test di volo futuri nelle vicinanze di Roswell , New Mexico. Click here for more.

Cellular News

European Commission urges Spanish regulator to review broadband access fees

The European Commission has formally asked the Spanish telecoms regulator to withdraw or amend its proposal setting the regulated prices which Telefonica can charge other operators who want to sell broadband services. Click here for more.


Italian Telco Merger to be Investigated by European Commission

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether the proposed joint venture between the telecommunications activities of Hutchison and VimpelCom in Italy is in line with the EU Merger Regulation. Click here for more.

Cellular News

Commission welcomes Dutch proposals on fixed and mobile phone termination rates

The European Commission has endorsed the proposal of the Dutch telecoms regulator (ACM) concerning fixed and mobile termination rates. Click here for more.


Commission releases report on unfair contract terms in the telco sector

New Zealand’s Commerce Commission has released a report detailing the findings of its review of standard form consumer contracts in the telecommunications sector. Click here for more.

Cellular News

Neelie Kroes: vice president, European Commission for the Digital Agenda: “We are putting Europe at the forefront of the data revolution”

Neelie Kroes, vice president, European Commission for the Digital Agenda

Neelie Kroes is the vice president of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda and is delivering the opening keynote speech of the Broadband World Forum 2012, taking place on the 16 – 18 October 2012 at the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. We take a look at the nature of her role and the industry topics with which she is closely associated.

Widely known as the European Union’s ‘internet tsar’, since 2010 Neelie Kroes has been vice president of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda for Europe. One of the most influential politicians in Europe, Kroes is a former Dutch Politian that has made Forbes’ ‘The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women’ list five times.

Kroes has earned a reputation for taking a tough stance on technology firms. In 2004 she was the EU’s competition commissioner when it fined Microsoft a hefty €497million for failing to comply with demands made by her predecessor, and she also warned that the leading computer firm that its Vista operating system could fall foul of competition law. As such she has been bestowed the nicknames “Nickel Neelie” or “Steely Neelie”. Nevertheless, back in 1996, as chairperson of Nijenrode University, Kroes once awarded an honorary doctorate to Microsoft’s founder Bill Gates.

Kroes is a well known proponent of free and open source software, and in a 2010 speech at the GNOME Users’ And Developers’ European Conference (GUADEC) proclaimed, “open source is not a dirty word anymore,” highlighting its increasing use in business and in the EU itself.

Her role is to promote and enhance digital growth across Europe. As such she is tasked with helping to ensure that the internet remains a trusted and secure environment, that there is fair competition in the mobile market, and promoting Europe as a hub of technology innovation. Regarding the latter she has recently spoken on the desire to see a ‘made in Europe’ sticker on the advanced chip technology of the future to compete with the rest of the world, and to make this a reality, has proposed a €1.8billion boost in research into micro- and nano-electronics, and photonics.

A key feature of her work is  ensure that every citizen in Europe gains access to a fast broadband connection in support of the EU’s Digital Agenda. This aims to promote digital inclusiveness and enhance the economic competitiveness of the continent through increasing digital literacy. At a recent event launching a Get Online Week as part of an eSkills initiative, Kroes said, “my dream is getting everyone in Europe digital. And by the way, it is not only a dream – it is a promise. It’s about digital inclusion in its widest sense – finding our young people jobs and helping generation learns.”

In response to the ‘net neutrality’ debate, the European Commission did not choose to implement strict laws against the practice but Kroes said that she reserved the right to act if there was excessive throttling of services or over burdensome traffic management. Kroes is now readying a recommendation following a recently released study by the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) on net neutrality in the EU.

On her blog she states that it is important for consumers to have access to full, robust, best-effort internet services, to have clarity in the services they are or are not getting, and if they are not satisfied, the ability to more switch providers more easily. “Consumers also need to know if they are getting Champagne or lesser sparkling wine. If it is not full internet, it shouldn’t be marketed as such; perhaps it shouldn’t be marketed as “internet” at all, at least not without any upfront qualification,” said Kroes in her recent blog post. Kroes also notes that techniques that limit speed often use Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) techniques and that these present a threat to privacy.

Regarding disingenuous broadband connection speed claims from ISPs, Kroes says that, “consumers need clear information on actual, real-life broadband speeds. Not just the speed at 3am, but the speed at peak times. The upload as well as the download speed.”

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) debate that raged in the US at the start of the year that would have permitted the US government the ability to target legitimate sites if users share pirated content on them. Kroes was clear in her disapproval of this controversial bill and in a tweet at the time stated, “Glad tide is turning on Sopa: don’t need bad legislation when should be safeguarding benefits of open net.” Kroes followed this up with, “”Speeding is illegal too, but you don’t put speed bumps on the motorway.”

Her broadband plan aims to have fast broadband coverage for everyone by 2020 with half of all households enjoying ultra-fast connections. Fast broadband services are essential, she believes, in order to make use of cloud services. She has called for action to support the speedy uptake of cloud computing in Europe, and has said that the obstacles to cloud adoption, such as standards certification, data protection, interoperability, lock-in, and legal certainty, need to be addressed.

Other topics Kroes has highlighted are dealing with cyberbullying, the use of technology to improve healthcare and how technology is affecting copyright laws. Kroes recently spoke to the European Parliament on the issue of high roaming charges across Europe for voice, texts and data, referring to them an “irritant”, preventing the common use of smartphones and tablets. “People are fed up with nasty surprises when they open their bill,” she said in a speech to the European Parliament on the issue. “People who want to browse abroad shouldn’t be held back by a fear of high charges.” As such, she urged MEPs to back a deal that would force operates to lower charges from July 2012. Here her main concern is with data charges, and expressed satisfaction that that bill would end rip off charges “once and for all”. The move, she claimed, would, “place Europe at the forefront of the data revolution.”

More on Neelie Kroes:


Neelie Kroes will be the opening keynote speaker at the Broadband World Forum 2012, taking place on the 16 – 18 October 2012 at the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Click here now to register your interest. – telecoms industry news, analysis and opinion

European Commission Consults on Reducing Deployment Costs for High Speed Internet

The European Commission is seeking views on how to cut the costs of setting up new networks for high speed internet in the EU. Click here for more.


European Commission antitrust probe clears ISPs

No wrong-doing found by the European Commission.

No wrong-doing found by the European Commission.

The European Commission has announced that an investigation into content delivery antitrust has failed to find evidence of wrong-doing by internet service providers. Inspections were carried out after concerns were raised about the potential abuse of dominant market positions and violation of EU antitrust regulations.

In July, the EC stated that unannounced inspections would be a preliminary step into determining suspected anticompetitive practices. The investigation focused on telcos that manage and deliver internet access to end-users. The concerns raised were that, as traffic becomes congested nearer the consumer premises, proprietary services from the telco were taking precedence over content being delivered by OTT players, such as Netflix, which rely heavily on high quality of service.

In an announcement made by the Commission today, it stated: “the Commission found no evidence of behaviour aimed at foreclosing transit services from the market or at providing an unfair advantage to the telecoms operators’ own proprietary content services”.

July’s memo detailing the launch of the investigation stated company names would not be made public at such an early stage. The investigation has since been concluded, and when contacted by this morning, the Commission declined to confirm which specific telcos, or even territories, were investigated. The lack of ROI from its three-month investigation may have contributed to the EC’s new-found discretion.

In a somewhat related matter, the Commission has also finally confirmed that Facebook’s acquisition of messaging service Whatsapp isn’t anticompetitive after all. Early concerns were that the acquisition would see an unfair acquisition of competition by the social networking giant, and lead to insufficient competition in OTT comms.

After further deliberation, the Commission found that Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are not close competitors and that consumers would continue to have a wide choice of alternative consumer communications apps after the transaction, in an official statement.

“While Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are two of the most popular apps, most people use more than one communications app,” said Joaquín Almunia, Commission Vice President responsible for competition policy. “We have carefully reviewed this proposed acquisition and come to the conclusion that it would not hamper competition in this dynamic and growing market. Consumers will continue to have a wide choice of consumer communications apps.”