4G reaches to just one-fourth of Europe's populace

Three-quarters of the EU has no 4G coverage, and fourth-generation services are practically non-existent in rural areas.

According to the European Commission, only one-quarter of the EU's population lives within reach of a 4G LTE network. For those living in more remote areas, that figure drops to practically zero, the EC said on Thursday.

At the 4G-free end of the spectrum are three countries with no operators offering fourth-generation services: Cyprus, Malta and Ireland. There are, however, three countries with what the EC calls an "advanced 4G rollout": Germany, Estonia, and Sweden.

Read more of "Only one-quarter of Europeans can get 4G access&… Read more

EU competition chief wants more from Google to settle antitrust

Despite its best efforts to put a three-year antitrust investigation behind it, Google isn't out of the woods just yet.

The search company's proposals are "not enough to overcome our concerns," Joaquin Almunia, the European Union's antitrust chief, said Wednesday at a press conference in Brussels. Google must do more to put the EU's antitrust case to rest, he added, according to Reuters.

Google has been in the EU's crosshairs for the last three years over what Almunia has called "abuses of dominance." Google, which owns over 80 percent of the … Read more

EU increases penalties for cybercriminals and hackers

The European Union has decided to raise prison sentences for people found guilty of hacking, data breaches, and cyberattacks.

Lawmakers from the 28 nations in the EU decided Thursday, in a 541-91 vote, to assign harsher penalties for various cybercrimes, according to Reuters. Included in the increased prison sentences are at least two years for illegally accessing information systems and at least five years for cyberattacks against infrastructure, such as power plants, water systems, and transportation networks.

The lawmakers agreed that the most egregious crimes are those that breach the countries' infrastructure networks and the theft of sensitive data from … Read more

Samsung eyes settlement in EU antitrust inquiry -- report

Samsung is inclined to wave the white flag in its issues with European Union antitrust regulators rather than take the chance of fighting it out, according to a new report.

Samsung and the European Union's European Commission, which regulates corporate competition, are in preliminary talks to settle an investigation into the company's use of essential mobile patents, Reuters reported Tuesday, citing people who claim to have knowledge of those talks.

The European Commission has been investigating Samsung over its use of standard-essential patents in its lawsuits against Apple across the EU. Samsung holds essential patents on the 3G … Read more

EU court lawyer backs Google in 'right to be forgotten' case

Google cannot be forced to remove "damaging" material from its search engine that was legally posted elsewhere, according to an adviser to the top court in Europe.

The senior adviser to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), whose job it is to present a public and impartial opinion on cases the court receives, also said there is no general "right to be forgotten" under existing EU data and privacy laws.

In an opinion published on Tuesday, advocate-general Niilo Jaaskinen said that Google cannot be considered the "controller" of personal data from other Web sites … Read more

Google's Android faces EU probe over licensing practices

Google has faced some European Union antitrust scrutiny as of late, but the company's troubles might have only just begun.

The Financial Times reported Thursday, citing EU documents it claims to have seen, that the governing body's competition watchdogs are conducting an informal investigation into whether Google is violating competition regulations with its Android operating system. According to the documents, Microsoft and Nokia, among other competitors, have complained to the EU that Google is violating competitive rules with its handling of Android.

The Financial Times story follows a report from The New York Times in April, saying that … Read more

EU Net neutrality plan to outlaw throttling, site-blocking

Internet service providers will be barred from blocking or throttling customers' access to services that rival their own under new Net neutrality rules that could soon be enforced across Europe

The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, said that around 100 million Europeans face restrictions on their Internet services because ISPs are reluctant give customers access to services that compete with their own offerings.

Plans to mandate Net neutrality being put forward by the EC's digital chief, Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes, would prevent anti-competitive blocking of rival services. Currently only the Netherlands and Slovenia have … Read more

Mobile carriers snap back at European roaming reform

A consortium representing mobile network operators didn't like what it heard last week when a top European Commission official called for an end to the roaming fees consumers must pay to use their mobile phones outside their home countries.

Neelie Kroes, the vice president of the EC leading the digital agenda, said she wanted an end to roaming fees by Easter 2014. "I want you to be able to go back to your constituents and say that you were able to end mobile roaming costs," Kroes told members of a European Parliament committee in a speech on … Read more

EC leader calls for unified European mobile networks

International barriers in the telecommunications industry such as roaming fees are hurting consumers and should be eliminated within a year, a top European Commission official said today.

"I want you to be able to go back to your constituents and say that you were able to end mobile roaming costs," said Neelie Kroes, the EC vice president in charge of its digital agenda, in a speech to members of a European Parliament committee on Thursday. "Whether they need it for travel, for trade, or for transactions -- our people need this reform."

With roaming fees, the … Read more

EU likely to push Google to concede more on antitrust

European antitrust regulators could seek further concessions from Google that may delay its settling of anticompetitive charges in the region.

The search firm landed itself in hot water in late 2010 after rivals and competitors complained to the European executive body for allegedly infringing EU-wide antitrust law by abusing its dominance in the search market. 

After formal charges were issued and Google laid out settlement proposals to avoid hefty fines in the region, those same complainants are knocking on the EU's door demanding more be done.

According to Reuters, EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia warned that Google may … Read more