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Business Health Miscellaneous Mobile Phones Networks News

Alcatel-Lucent Employees Protest Companies Plans To Cut 10,000 Jobs

Alcatel-Lucent have been a company in decline since 2006 according to Michel Combes, CEO of the ailing business. That was the last time the company made any money, prompting the company to announce that they will be cutting 10,000 jobs in an effort to reduce costs by €1 billion. This has sparked protests by company employees who are now facing a similar fate to those that BlackBerry employees faced during September 2013, just 1 month previous.

The protests caused a stir in the French capital on Tuesday October 22nd as 1,000 of the companies employees wore black bin bags with crosses on during their march to the Eiffel Tower and then on to the Alcatel-Lucent headquarters.

The company itself is the second in as many months to post troubling losses, as another pioneer on the mobile phone industry, BlackBerry, announced a fire sale in an effort to remain in existence. Both have been reported to have made catastrophic decisions over the past few years, deciding against including technologies that most consumers in 2013 see as a necessity. This has caused profits to dry up and all but disappear. The ultimate fate of the business could mean Michel Combes fears come true and Alcatel-Lucent disappear altogether. A sad ending to a story of once such a pioneering company in an industry many of us grew up with.

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Business Health Miscellaneous Mobile Phones Networks News

EU roaming to increase customer satisfaction

Some of you may be aware that the European Commission passed a law in 2012 to bring the prices of roaming within the EU down. This will then allow those who use a network based in the EU to visit neighbouring countries and not have to pay extortionate fees to use their handsets. As a result of this pending law, which will start to come into effect as of July 1st 2014, almost 75% of telecoms professionals believe that consumer satisfaction will increase.

In an attempt to bring the Eurozone closer together and make it more appealing and easier for people to cross borders, it is believed that the law will also see an increase in the amount that people use their phones abroad. However, when factoring in the decreased prices, just less than half of the individuals surveyed believed that revenues for the networks would increase, meaning that over half also believe that the networks are the ones who will lose out as part of the legislation.

As a counter strategy to make it easier for consumers travelling within the EU, over 60% suggest that simply increasing the visibility of usage to customers will increase customer satisfaction, and not result in lost revenues. By using Apps, professionals also believe that they can make it easy for users to purchase add-on packages that bring the overall cost of their usage down, but also convenient and simple for them to do.

Overall, there have been 3 top strategies suggested and the senior marketing manager at Openet, Corine Suscens suggests that “by combining them, operators will not only offer customers the level of control that they crave and which has been a barrier to data roaming usage, but also maximise revenue potential by making purchasing very easy and convenient”.

This information will be available in the Telecoms.com Intelligence Indsutry Survery 2013, when published.

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Business Health Miscellaneous Mobile Phones Networks News

Telecoms providers potentially merging in Europe

Joaquin Almunia, EU Competition ChiefThis is the news that has filtered out of a meeting between some of the bosses of Europe’s largest Mobile phone networks and Joaquin Almunia, the European Union’s competition chief. The bosses in the meeting included those from Deutsche Telekom (Germany), Telefonica (Spain), France Telecom and Telecom Italia, which suggest just how large such an allegiance could result in.

The idea itself aims to pool together the infrastructure owned some of Europe’s largest network providers, which is currently spread between dozens of independent providers in the 50 European countries. The result would then be similar to the North American and Chinese markets, where operators offer services through a handful of infrastructure.

Such a radical change in the way Europe currently independently operates would of course take a long time to make a reality, but the result would see single prices being offered across Europe for phone and Internet services. This could potentially mean lower prices for consumers and more focus on customer-centric businesses, where quality of customer support would become a major differentiating factor.

In its current state, the European networks are seeing a decline in revenues, coupled with the large debts that the infrastructures hold. Therefore, with the idea of a cross-border network being on the cards, new investment would be welcomed, along with a diversified risk of the debt becoming unsustainable. However, someone close to the meetings mentioned to the FT that “Objections won’t come from Europe, they will be from the [EU’s 27 national] regulators.”. This puts the idea at risk from conception, however, if the gains are both apparent for both consumers and businesses, the idea will surely become to fruition at some point.

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