Nytex

In Brief: EC adopts wholesale roaming cut 

The European Commission has adopted a proposal to cut wholesale roaming charges as part of the process to abolish all retail roaming in the EU by mid-June 2017.Following the public consultation on wholesale roaming rates,the EC has proposed cutting maximum wholesale roaming charges to 4 eurocents a minute for calls, 1 eurocent per SMS and 0.85 eurocents per megabyte of data.Wholesale prices currently stand at 5 eurocents a minute for calls,2 eurocents for SMS and 5 eurocents per megabyte of data.In a statement,the EC said national wholesale roaming markets need to be competitive to enable operators to abolish retail roaming charges without operating at a loss.

***Tunisie Telecom has offered €2.87 per share in cash for Malta's Go.The Tunisian telco was selected as the preferred bidder for Go last month,ahead of Bahrain's Batelco. The acceptance period for shareholders to take up the offer will run from 24 June to 22 July.Tunisie Telecom said the deal will enable it to create a strong trans-Mediterranean partnership that will bring attractive synergies."We are very excited about this transaction as we believe that Go and Tunisie Telecom can achieve more together than they can apart,"said Tunisie Telecom CEO.

***Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is planning to set up a standard registration platform for pre-paid mobile SIM cards across Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, aimed at creating a single customer data pool among the four countries to help prevent fraud, drug trading, illegal trafficking and the usage of mobile phones in detonating bombs. The NBTC signed an agreement with Cambodia on the registration scheme last year, followed by Laos in February of this year,whilst it will‘have talks on such a collaboration with Myanmar soon.The proposed pre-paid registration standard is based on usage of national identification and fingerprints to register pre-paid SIMs via a mobile subscription app to be developed by the commission.The NBTC would fund the software development,with the other three countries investing in the hardware themselves.Thailand could successfully drive development of a pre-paid SIM registration system within 18 months through its own mobile app.

***Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) has announced that the Bank of Khartoum has exercised its right of first refusal regarding the sale of the UAE telco’s entire shareholding in Sudanese fixed line operator Canar Telecommunication Company (Canar) to Zain Group, which was announced last month. The Bank of Khartoum, which holds a 3.7% stake in Canar, has signed an agreement with Etisalat to purchase its 92.3% shareholding in the Sudanese operator for a total cash consideration of AED349.6 million (USD95.2 million), implying a price per share of AED17.50. The transaction remains subject to certain conditions, including the approval of Sudanese regulator the National Telecommunications Corporation (NTC) and the country’s competition authorities.

***As of year end 2015,the world now contains 8.1 billion connected smartphones,tablets,personal computers, TVs,TV attached devices and audio devices.On average,across the globe,this device base equates to an astounding four devices per household. The proliferation of media-enabled connected endpoints has implications for media consumption, media production, broadband infrastructure, and the business itself of network management and traffic discrimination.