Telefónica Deutschland's planned acquisition of domestic rival E-Plus from KPN will not be scrutinised by German competition authorities, after the European Commission declined to relinquish control of a probe into the effects of the deal on the German market.
EchoStar said it acquired full ownership of Dublin-based mobile satellite services operator Solaris Mobile from former parents Eutelsat and SES and will take over Solaris Mobile's one S-band payload currently in orbit. No financial details were provided for the deal.
As another year comes towards its end, it would be remiss of me to not to look back at what has been an incredibly eventful year in European telecoms in order to highlight some of the main trends that have not only emerged in the past 12 months, but also look set to dominate the market in the coming year and beyond.
The European Commission has kicked off a public-private partnership that will see the European Union invest around €700 million ($963 million) in "5G" research as part of a new €6.2 billion ($8.53) EU research programme called "Horizon 2020," matched by equal levels of investment from the private sector.
Telefónica and KPN could face a much longer probe into their €8.55 billion ($11.73 billion) German deal than they may have anticipated, after reports suggested that the European Commission plans to reject Germany's request to oversee the planned merger of KPN's E-Plus with Telefónica Deutschland.
European nations are significantly more dependent on mobile for broadband connections than fibre-rich South Korea and the widely-cabled United States, for example. Europe cannot afford to wait for "5G." It needs to accelerate its laggardly 3G and 4G deployments forthwith.
The European Commission and European Aviation Safety Agency take steps to make it easier for consumers to use their connected mobile devices from gate to gate on airplanes.
The European Union's digital chief, Neelie Kroes said her plans to reform the European Union's fragmented telecoms rules are still on track for 2014 despite some reports that suggested the telecoms reforms had been delayed to 2015.
The drive to develop "5G" technologies in Europe is being led in part by the METIS 2020 research project, with METIS standing for "Mobile and wireless communications Enablers for the Twenty-twenty (2020) Information Society." For more on the push to 5G, check out this FierceWireless:Tech special report.
"Good luck, Randy!" That's exactly what four of Europe's Big 5 operators (e.g., Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica, and Telecom Italia) told me when I asked the question: What do you think of AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson's statement that he sees room to move the European market in the direction of the U.S. by investing in networks, shifting pricing strategies to encourage mobile data use and collecting more revenue as use increases?