EE has unveiled a new partnership with Tech City, London's technology and startup hub, with the aim of making the region the best connected in the world. The deal will see 4G access for businesses in Tech City, access to EE's network APIs for Tech City developers to make the most out of 4G, and business and mentoring support for startups in the area, which it believes will increase employment. EE's double-speed 4G network, which it recently installed across the capital and launched in Tech City today, puts London ahead of New York in terms of data speeds. Average speeds are 24-30Mb, with top speeds hitting 80Mb, putting it in first place on the RootMetrics report for London. The company also promises to launch further 4G advancements in Tech City before any other part of the country, ensuring the technology hub remains at the cutting edge of mobile Internet connectivity.
Huawei believes it can overtake Apple, which it said is "slipping" in the mobile market. The Chinese manufacturer has set out a plan to become one of the three biggest mobile brands by the end of 2015, starting with the release of the Huawei Ascend P6, the thinnest smartphone the industry has seen. "The industry is so dynamic – no matter how successful you are, if you're currently number one, doesn't mean tomorrow you'll be number one," Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei told The Telegraph. Yu slated Samsung for its "plastic" designs and marketing spend, suggesting that people will buy any product if there is enough advertising behind it. While acknowledging that iOS 7 makes the iPhone "extremely simple to use," Yu said that Huawei would not even have to play catchup, as Apple is slipping. "We want to go higher than them," he added. Huawei may have a fighting chance if it is able to deliver on its promises: produce better phones than its rivals for a cheaper price. While branding is still vital for market success, price will always be a strong motivator for consumers.
Vodafone has successfully agreed to buy Kabel Deutschland, Germany's largest cable operator, for €7.7 billion (£6.6 billion). The deal improves Vodafone's revenue in Germany, increasing its customer base to 32.4 million mobile users, 5 million broadband users, and 7.6 million TV subscribers. 8.5 million customers come from Kabel Deutschland alone. Earlier this month Vodafone confirmed its interest in Kabel Deutschland, offering roughly £6 billion, but the German firm apparently rejected the offer as too low. The subsequent negotiations netted it a further £600 million and avoided a potential bidding war with rival cable company Liberty Global. "German consumer and business demand for fast broadband and data services continues to grow substantially as customers increasingly access TV, fixed and mobile broadband services from multiple devices in the home and workplace and on the move," said Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone. "The combination of Vodafone Germany and Kabel Deutschland will greatly enhance our offerings in response to those needs." The deal still needs to meet shareholder and regulator approval.
Google has confirmed that it has been contacted by the Federal Trade Commission for an official antitrust review of its $1.1 billion (£716 million) acquisition of Waze, announced earlier this month. Sources say that Google didn't believe its acquisition met the threshold required for review, given that Waze's annual revenues were less than $70 million (£45.5 million). Regulators seem to be looking to examine whether Google picked up what might have eventually been the company's chief rival to Google Maps. Additionally, they will be interested in finding out whether Google acquired Waze merely to prevent its rivals from doing so. Of course, it doesn't really help Google's case that Waze CEO Noam Bardin recently described Waze as, "the only reasonable competition to [Google] in this market of creating apps that are really geared for mobile, for real-time, for consumers – for the new world that we're moving into." If the FTC review goes south for Google, the company could be forced to sell off Waze and eat whatever loss it might incur, leaving the door open for Apple, Microsoft and Facebook.