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MWC 2015: Acer launches Liquid M220 smartphone

At Mobile World Congress 2015 (MWC), Acer unveiled the Liquid M220 smartphone. According to Acer, at the unveiling, the Liquid M220 is the first ever Liquid smartphone to run on the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system. At MWC 2015, ST Liew, Smartphone Business Group President at Acer- stated that: “We are introducing our first Windows Phone

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Lycamobile expands to Romania

(Telecompaper) Lycamobile expanded its coverage to 18 countries with the launch of its MVNO operations in Romania. Customers will be able to make international calls at prices starting from EUR 0.01 per minute with prepaid SIMs from Lycamobile. As part of a promotion, customers can win EUR 5 credit with every accepted friend recommendation to join the service. Customers can choose between three 30-day packages. Priced between EUR 8 and EUR 15, these offer 200 to 250 national minutes and 300 MB to 1 GB of data. In addition, customers are offered six data packages priced between EUR 2 and EUR 19, which offer 200 MB to 3 GB. The cheapest data add-on has a one-day availability, while the rest can be used for 30 days. Approximately 3.4 million of the 6-8 million of Romanians who live abroad are covered by Lycamobile’s network. Lycamobile launched its MVNO in Romania in cooperation with Telekom Romania.

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EU members reach compromise on roaming, net neutrality

(Telecompaper) The Latvian presidency of the EU has secured a compromise on roaming and net neutrality regulations among EU member states. It can now start negotiations with the European Parliament, which passed a different version of the proposal last year. While the parliament called for an end to roaming surcharges by the end of 2015, the member states adopted a more cautious proposal. This involves first an introduction of ‘fair use’ roaming, with a limited amount of traffic provided at national rates and then a small surcharge for any additional use. The EU would consider only from mid-2018 an end to the roaming charges. On net neutrality, the council members ceded to industry pressure to allow different levels of service quality for specific customers. Internet providers offering this type of service level agreement would still need to ensure the overall quality of internet access for all customers. Blocking or slowing down specific content or applications will be prohibited, with only a limited number of exceptions allowed for circumstances such as traffic management and network security. National regulators will enforce the net neutrality rules, based on guidance to be developed by the EU regulatory body Berec. 

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MTN Group revenue rises 6.4% in ‘challenging’ 2014

MTN Group announced that its revenue for the year ended 31 December 2014 rose by 6.4 percent to ZAR 146.2 billion, despite a 3.9 percent contraction in the South African operation’s revenue and declines in the value of the Ghanaian cedi…

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Italian cabinet approves EUR 6 bln national broadband plan

(Telecompaper) The cabinet of Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi has approved the EUR 6 billion plan to accelerate the development of a national high-speed fibre network after a period of consultation with operators. Under the terms of the Strategy for Italian Broadband and Digital Growth 2014-20, operators will be offered a series of incentives to invest in upgrading their networks, above all in the south of the country, which will receive the bulk of the Italian and European structural and development funds. The aim is to go beyond the objectives of the digital agenda for Europe and bring high-speed broadband of 100 Mbps to 85 percent of Italy’s population by 2020, rather than the European goal of 50 percent, as well as 30 Mbps broadband to all Italians. According to Italian communications regulator AgCom, less than 1 percent of Italians currently access the internet at speeds of 30 Mbps, compared to an EU average of 21 percent. The government said tenders to build the networks will be awarded on the basis of how fast the work can be carried out rather than the cost. Presenting the plan, state secretary to the prime minister’s office Graziano Delrio denied recent reports that Telecom Italia would be forced to switch off its copper network and convert to fibre.

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China Mobile tops 100 mln 4G users, targets 250 mln by Dec

(Telecompaper) China Mobile reports it has reached 100 million domestic 4G network users since its TD-LTE launch in December 2013. The operator has also launched 4G international roaming services in 71 countries and regions. China Mobile ended January …

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KPN revives plans for Base sale – report

(Telecompaper) Dutch operator KPN is reviving plans for the sale of its Belgian mobile operator Base, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg.

KPN, which is working with JPMorgan Chase on the possible disposal, may seek about EUR 1 billion…

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Nvidia introduces Shield games and entertainment console

(Telecompaper) Nvidia introduced at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco its own gaming and entertainment console, based on the Android OS. The Shield device runs Nvidia’s Tegra X1 processor and can support streaming video up to 4K resolution…

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Frontier’s Wilderotter to step down, McCarthy to assume CEO role

Frontier Communications CEO Maggie Wilderotter is going to step down as CEO and is transitioning to an executive chair role in April. Taking over the CEO role is Dan McCarthy, who currently serves as Frontier’s president and COO.

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Level 3’s Storey says incumbents’ wireless focus gives it more enterprise opportunities

Level 3 Communications CEO Jeff Storey has indicated that the strategy by incumbent telcos, namely AT&T and Verizon, to increase their focus on their wireless businesses is helping Level 3 win more deals in the enterprise services space.

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