Our round up of May’s UK telecoms and energy news
Smartphone sales fall off a cliff, Europe stumbling its way toward tough new online privacy laws and 5G broadband before the end of the year.
Is your business ready for GDPR?
More than half of all businesses and regulatory bodies in Europe are still not prepared for incoming EU legislation, designed to tighten up and protect the use of our private information online.
A recent report by Reuters warns that despite GDPR coming into effect later this month, most European governments do not expect to have the funding or infrastructure in place to fulfill their obligations. One of the few countries ready for the changes is Estonia – fast developing a reputation as pioneers of good e-governance – praised by Reuters for ensuring new rules were ‘understood and respected’ by business.
Meanwhile, The Financial Times is warning business that new European privacy rules extend to suppliers and contractors, reminding British companies that GDPR applies not just to their own digital data management, but also partners acting on their behalf.
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Mobile operators in race to cash in on 5G
Expect to hear a lot more about the ‘Internet of Things’ before the end of the year, according to The Guardian, following last month’s government auction of the new 5G spectrum.
British mobile operators beat all expectations, and proved just how deep they’re prepared to dig, to secure access to new superfast broadband. The big 4 operators – BT-operated EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three – paid in excess of £1.4bn to secure access to 5G services.
The report suggests network providers will now race to introduce new services before the end of the year – including more delivery drones, an increase in intelligent gadgets and smart home devices along with much faster mobile surfing.
Smartphone sales in freefall
Telecoms.com has reported that European smartphone sales nosedived in the first quarter of the year. Quoting a recent Canalys survey which recorded a drop of more than 13% in smartphone shipments to what has been traditionally the world’s richest market.
The figures support what Ben Stanton – at Canalys – describes as a new era for European smartphone sales, as the region transfers from a boom in sales over the last 6 years to a more discerning buying pattern.
Stiff warning to energy firms over price hikes
Ofgem Chief Executive Dermot Nolan used a recent energy conference in London to warn industry leaders not to attempt across the board price hikes, prior to the introduction of mandatory price capping.
Quoted in an article on the Utility Week website, Nolan also suggested that the number of energy providers in the UK could easily rise to ‘hundreds, possibly thousands’ over the next decade, potentially leading to wholesale changes in the structuring of supply licenses.
Upcoming regulation means your business could be making big savings on energy bills.
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