Mango CEO Nico Bezuidenhout and Star Alliance CEO Mark Schwab.Star Alliance is set to expand its network reach with the launch of its Connecting Partner Model. Under this new concept, routes operated by “low-cost” and “hybrid” airlines will be able to connect to the Alliance network. This will allow customers of Star Alliance member carriers to select from an even wider choice of destinations and flights.“With this innovative concept, we are breaking new ground. We see a definite trend of convergence between the ‘traditional full service’ and ‘low-cost’ business models in the airline industry,” said Mark Schwab, CEO Star Alliance.“At the same time, our customers are telling us that they need access to markets where we do not yet provide ideal coverage. In many cases network carriers are not in a position to fill this gap and hence working with future Connecting Partners will allow us to provide an extended network to our travellers.”Connecting Partners will be carefully assessed for their fit into the existing Star Alliance network. While these selected airlines need to comply and adhere to the high operating standard required by the Alliance, they will not become a member of the Alliance itself.Customers travelling on an itinerary which includes a transfer between a Star Alliance member airline and a Connecting Partner will be offered Alliance benefits such as passenger and baggage through check-in. Moreover, Star Alliance Gold Card holders will enjoy a tailored set of privileges in line with the different product offerings of the individual Connecting Partner.Connecting Partners will enter into bilateral commercial agreements with selected Star Alliance member airlines, which may include additional Frequent Flyer Programme based privileges.Innovative and multi-award winning South African low-cost airline Mango has been selected as the first airline with which Star Alliance will be implementing the new concept.“We are delighted to be working with Mango as we marry traditional and low-cost or hybrid airlines for the first time in our Alliance’s history. The airline’s innovative and progressive style makes it an ideal candidate for launching our new Connecting Partner concept. We aim to have first customers using this new offer as of the third quarter of 2016,” adds Schwab.Mango’s first flight took to the skies on November 15th, 2006. Since then, the airline has grown its fleet from four to 10 Boeing 737-800 aircraft, operating between South Africa’s key domestic points as well as between Johannesburg and Zanzibar. The carrier remains the only African airline to offer on-board Wi-Fi.“Innovation and a relentless pursuit of excellence are the cornerstones of Mango and fundamental to our culture as a business,” says Mango CEO Nico Bezuidenhout.“Participation in the development of, and ultimately becoming the launch Star Alliance Connecting Partner airline, wedges-in with our medium to long term business objectives,” he added.Bezuidenhout said that while the Connecting Partner product flies in the face of convention, the common ground for the concept relates directly to the bottom line. “Becoming a Connecting Partner will give any low-cost or hybrid airline a competitive advantage that immediately grows market share while creating greater choice for travellers,” he said. Star AllianceSource = Star Alliance
The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The Cards believe Earl Watford will be a future starter and the future might be sooner than one might think, including Watford. Big Earl is a natural athlete with excellent feet. He’s as strong as anybody on the field, has twitchy-quick explosion off the ball, and is as tough as they come. The guy has a mean streak and that is uncommon for many offensive lineman.I think Watford might be the hidden gem of this draft. He probably needs a year to make the transition from a relatively small school to the best our species can offer but don’t be surprised if you see Big Earl sooner than later. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Comments Share The Arizona Cardinals drafted nine players in the 2013 NFL draft and many analysts are talking about how Jonathan Cooper might be a perennial Pro Bowl guard. They also like Kevin Minter in the second round, and Tyrann Mathieu has been a topic of discussion nationally. Herman Edwards was raving about the Cardinals drafting Stepfan Taylor and Ryan Swope and Andre Ellington were touted as steals in the 6th round.But nobody’s talking about Earl Watford, the second guard drafted by Arizona in the fourth round out of James Madison. Nobody but the Cardinals, that is.
SUVs are a common site on roads all over the world now – large vehicles usually with ample ground clearance giving them an off-road look (although they are not always 4wd and not always suitable for offroading!) providing practical space, high driving position and plenty of seating. The larger vehicles in this category can comfortably seat 7 with reasonable luggage space left over. 7 seaters in this category include: SUVs (aka 4x4s, Sports Utility Vehicles) Mercedes E-Class EstatePeugeot 308 SWAudi A6 Avant Types of 7+ Seater Vehicles to Hire in Faro 7+ Seater Car Hire from Seville Airport How to search for 7+ seater cars to hire in Faro on Skyscanner Large Minivan Volvo XC90Peugeot 5008Nissan X-TrailKia SorentoLand Rover Discovery Volkswagon Transporter ShuttleMercedes Vito TravelinerFord Transit 9 SeaterPeugeot Traveller MPV (aka Minivan, Multi-purpose vehicle, people carrier) Using the search box above, or on our Faro car hire page, select your pick-up location as well as the pick-up and drop-off dates and times then hit Search ->When the results have loaded, select 7+ from the Passengers filters in the Filter menu.Choose a preferred pickup location from the map or the list to see the selection of 7+ seater cars available to hire from that location.When you find one that suits your needs, click on the Select button to be shown price options from different suppliers and see more detail about the rental options.When you find one you would like to book, click on Select next to that option to be taken to the site where you can reserve the vehicle. SEAT AlhambraVolkswagen SharanFord GalaxyChrysler Grand VoyagerMercedes-Benz V-Class Estate Cars Popular Car Hire Locations Near Faro 7+ Seater Car Hire from Faro Airport There are several different types of 7+ seater cars and, depending on where you are hiring from, one or more of the following types may be available: Related7+ Seater Car and MPV HireWhy hire a 7, 8 or 9 seater car? Large MPVs and 7+ seater cars are a great option for family or group holidays if you’re planning to do a lot of traveling. The additional seating and spacious cabins ensure that all your passengers have plenty of space with room…7+ Seater Car and MPV Hire in MalagaPopular Car Hire Locations Near Malaga 7+ Seater Car Hire from Malaga Airport 7+ Seater Car Hire from Gibraltar Airport How to search for 7+ seater cars to hire in Malaga on Skyscanner Using the search box above, or on our Malaga car hire page, select your pick-up location as…7+ Seater Car and MPV Hire in OrlandoPopular Car Hire Locations Near Orlando 7+ Seater Car Hire from Orlando International Airport 7+ Seater Car Hire from Orlando Sanford Airport How to search for 7+ seater cars to hire in Orlando on Skyscanner Using the search box above, or on our Orlando car hire page, select your pick-up… At a certain size, minivans start to look less like a car/van hybrid and more like a small bus. Indeed, large minivans are essentially commercial vans you’d typically see being driven by tradesmen or being used to transport goods, but in this case outfitted with multiple rows of seats to accommodate up to 9 passengers and all their luggage and usually much more luxuriously equipped. Often used as executive shuttle busses by hotels, these can also be hired from rental companies for personal use if you are travelling with a large group or just have a lot of luggage and equipment to transport. Examples of vehicles in this class include: These are probably the most common type of 7+ seater family car available today. Essentially a van shaped car with three rows of seats and typically with sliding rear doors providing easy access to the two back rows of seats. Examples of cars in this class include: 7+ Seater Car Hire from Lisbon Airport Large estate cars with 7+ seats are less common to find these days, having mostly been replaced by MPVs and SUVs, but some are still around and may be available depending on where you are renting your car from. Estate cars are often extended versions of hatchbacks or saloons, creating additional boot space and, in some cases also allowing an extra row of seats, whilst still being a low to the ground car. These are often known as 5+2 seat cars as they usually don’t have a proper back row of seats and instead just have 2 extra seats which fold out from the floor of the boot. This of course may mean sacrificing luggage space if you want to use one of these to carry 7 people. Examples of cars in the class include: Pick-up LocationPick-up DateTime00:0000:3001:0001:3002:0002:3003:0003:3004:0004:3005:0005:3006:0006:3007:0007:3008:0008:3009:0009:3010:0010:3011:0011:3012:0012:3013:0013:3014:0014:3015:0015:3016:0016:3017:0017:3018:0018:3019:0019:3020:0020:3021:0021:3022:0022:3023:0023:30Drop-off DateTime00:0000:3001:0001:3002:0002:3003:0003:3004:0004:3005:0005:3006:0006:3007:0007:3008:0008:3009:0009:3010:0010:3011:0011:3012:0012:3013:0013:3014:0014:3015:0015:3016:0016:3017:0017:3018:0018:3019:0019:3020:0020:3021:0021:3022:0022:3023:0023:30Return car to a different locationDriver aged between 25 – 75Search
Britain’s triple Olympic gold medalist sailor and CORUM Ambassador, Ben Ainslie, received a CBE from His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, (Thursday 11 June 2009), for services to sport, at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Ben sailed into the record books at the 2008 Beijing Olympics by winning his third successive gold medal, added to his silver medal from Atlanta in 1996 when he was still a teenager. The four medals makes Ben Britain’s greatest ever Olympic sailor, but also Britain’s most successful solo Olympian having won four successive medals in an individual discipline.Being made a Commander of the British Empire tops a year of honors for the 32 year old. The awards include being named World Sailor of the Year for an unprecedented third time.“I’m honored to become a Commander of the British Empire, it’s an extremely proud moment, when you’re out on the water competing in the Olympics you’re racing for yourself but a part of you is also doing it for your country, so it’s fitting to be recognized in this way. Receiving the CBE from His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales is also great for my family who have supported me throughout my career. Knowing that I am supported by CORUM and its team around the world brings me feeling that moves me beyond my limits and allows me to tap into my confidence, strength and motivation, and to achieve new successes. Over the next couple of years I will be concentrating on competing in the World Match Racing Tour and looking to get back in the Finn to concentrate on the Olympic circuit in order to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics.”Antonio Calce, CORUM’s CEO, said the following of Ben: “Ben’s maturity, charisma, modesty and determination to succeed reflect CORUM’s values perfectly. His feat provides a key message that we share with him. He proves to each of us that when we are driven by passion, great achievements are within reach and that it is a team’s efforts, as individuals and in complement with each other, that bring victory. Ben is more than just a brand ambassador: he is a very generous person, and we consider him one of CORUM’s friends, an integral part of our family who actively participates in our company’s success.”www.benainslie.com
Categories: News,Vaupel News Kudos to the Livingston County EDC. I have had the honor of serving on this board for a number of years and as a state representative still am a member. I have enjoyed seeing the work of the individuals on the board; with their goal being to keep Livingston County a great place to live, work and play.***With Halloween quickly approaching, many children will be trick-or-treating in just a few days.Halloween is a fun time for kids and their families and we need to ensure our children stay safe this season. For a fun and safe night, make sure to practice and review safety tips with children before they head out for the evening. Safety tips include, wearing comfortable and supportive shoes, checking the weather and bundling up, carrying a cell phone in case of an emergency and walking together in groups.***I would like to announce our Summer Reading Program winners who will have the opportunity to be a Representative for the Day. Each fall, I enjoy recognizing some of the district’s elementary age children who have spent some quality time over the summer reading at least 10 books. Thank you to the Fowlerville, Hartland and Howell public libraries for helping and providing a space to display our reading contest materials. This year the winners are: Grace Miller of Fowlerville, James Potter of Howell, and Ellie Rider of Howell.***Thank you to all who attended my October office hours. I hope you’ll be able to join me again next month on Friday, Nov. 16 at the following times and locations:• 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Fowlerville Farms, 941 S. Grand Ave. in Fowlerville;• 4 to 5 p.m. at Biggby Coffee, 11325 W. Highland Road in Hartland; and• 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at All Star Coney Island, 934 Michigan Ave. in Howell.***This past weekend was the annual celebrity server event at Olden Days Café in Fowlerville, a fundraiser for Genesis House. Once again, there was outstanding attendance from our community leaders and the public who support this great organization while joining in on some fun. A special thank you to Chuck and the staff at Olden Days for hosting this annual event. Genesis House provides support for individuals in our county who suffer from mental health issues. The organization also provides a clubhouse and office environment to help individuals develop skills to help maintain a safe and healthy lifestyle. Thank you to everyone who participated.***Minds in Action, a homeschool group, made the trip to Lansing to tour our Capitol. I was able to spend some time with the students and took them on the House floor. I always enjoy seeing the enthusiasm and interest by youth who visit our Capitol to learn a bit more about state government and tour the historic building.***I attended the Michigan Works Annual Award program and was honored to present tributes to Work Skills Corporation, founders of the Livingston Road Rally; Laurie Humphrey and Laura Hoehn; and also Ryan Parker and Adrian Horner who received the “Outstanding Job Training Participant Award. The Artisan Corner also received recognition.***State Rep. Hank Vaupel with the Economic Development Corporation of Livingston County 29Oct State Rep. Hank Vaupel Weekly Column: Oct. 21, 2018
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesAugust 21, 2014; NBC News The good news is that the two American relief workers who contracted Ebola in West Africa have been declared cured from their bouts from the virus. One of the two, Dr. Kent Brantly, who worked with Samaritan’s Purse, the Christian aid NGO, declared, “God saved my life.” Both Dr. Brantly and aid worker Nancy Writebol received an experimental treatment in West Africa before being flown to the U.S. where they were treated in an isolation unit at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.It is somewhat miraculous that Brantly and Writebol have survived their encounters with Ebola, which kills more than half of the people who contract it. The World Health Organization has declared Ebola a global health emergency and has counted some 1,350 people who have already lost their lives to the disease.The less good news is that the people in West Africa who have contracted Ebola do not have access—yet—to experimental treatments like those given to the two Americans nor to the kind of quality hospital services (and, probably, sanitation and other qualities) available at a place like Emory. As a result, the epidemic is worsening. The WHO says at least 2,473 people have contracted the disease in four West African nations, but warns that that may “vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak.” An astounding WHO report said that 221 new cases of Ebola were identified in just two days, August 17th and 18th.The really bad news is the scaremongering around Ebola. Think about the recent tweets from Donald Trump that argued Brantly and Writebol should not be permitted to return to the U.S. because they would bring the disease with them and lead to its uncontrolled spread. Trump obviously watched the movie Contagion too frequently and imagines Brantly and Writebol as real-life equivalents of the character played by Gwyneth Paltrow who brought back a disease from a trip to Hong Kong, had sex with her paramour on the way back to her family, and caused an epidemic that ended up quickly killing a significant proportion of the world’s population.According to the Guardian, Trump’s fears fit the movie, but not real life. “International health experts agree that the failure to contain the outbreak is due to the broken health systems in the affected countries, which are among the poorest in the world, two of which are still rebuilding following a decade of war,” writes Aminatta Forna. “Simply put, this would not happen in Britain or the US…In West Africa, those most at risk are the very poor, their carers, and health workers.”Like other diseases that have ravaged places in Africa, Ebola thrives on the weak medical systems in these countries—the lack of clean water, the poor sanitation—and the poverty of these places. It should remind Americans not of the exaggerated fears of Donald Trump, but the need to improve conditions in West Africa so that additional thousands do not have to test whether they might be lucky enough to survive this disease.—Rick Cohen ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share7TweetShare2Email9 SharesSeptember 30, 2015; StatelineArizona governor Jan Brewer was one of the very few Republican governors in southern or western states to go along with the Affordable Care Act option of expanding income eligibility for Medicaid. Presumably, she realized that spurning the new moneys offered by the federal government and leaving a swath of Arizonans without possibilities of affordable healthcare insurance would be, in the end, costly to the state (providing medical care for the uninsured) and counterproductive.Brewer’s successor, reports Stateline writer Michael Ollove, is pursuing a tack that would roll back Medicaid eligibility in a distinctive way. Governor Doug Ducey has asked the Obama administration to approve a waiver that would limit Medicaid eligibility in Arizona. Ducey’s plan would require existing and prospective Medicaid recipients with the capacity to work to have a job, be looking for a job, or be participating in job training. Adult Medicaid recipients would generally be limited to five years of eligibility. In addition to the work requirement and time limitation, Medicaid recipients would be required to contribute to health savings accounts, but the resources in those accounts, Ollove reports, could only be used if the Medicaid recipients “met work requirements or engaged in certain types of healthy behavior, such as completing wellness physical exams or participating in smoking cessation classes.”Ollove says that the federal government has never given states Medicaid waivers that would establish work requirements or five-year time limits for eligibility. If this reminds you of something, think about the many proposals that have been floated in recent years to impose work and time-limit eligibility restrictions for food stamps.Ollove quotes Joan Alker, executive director of the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University, who points out the “punitive strain” in the proposals and the “assumption that, left to themselves, people will make bad choices and that we the government will make better choices for them.” It is an interesting anomaly to find conservatives in government who generally believe in choice denying that choice to people who happen to be low-income or minority, based on the idea that the poverty of poor people is due to their own bad decisions or their inability to make good ones.Ollove notes that other states have requested and received waivers allowing them to add new requirements to state Medicaid programs:Arkansas, Indiana, and Michigan got approvals for incentivized or mandatory Medicaid recipient contributions to Health Savings Accounts to be used toward patients’ insurance copays or for treatments not covered by Medicaid—though no state has been given the approval to restrict access to HSAs as Arizona has requested—and Arizona could suspend Medicaid recipients’ eligibility for six months if they fail to make their mandatory two percent of income contributions to HSAs.Indiana got approval to charge a “premium” to all Medicaid recipients, with the provisions of being able to cancel eligibility for six months for recipients above the poverty level if they don’t make their premium payments and loss of enhanced medical care such as vision or dental for those below the poverty level.Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and New York, says Ollove, “include what are called ‘healthy behavior incentives’ in their Medicaid programs, to nudge people to lose weight or stop using tobacco.” However, those states all try to incentivize healthy behavior, but Arizona would use penalties instead of incentives.Indiana and New Hampshire were not given approval for a work requirement, but they were approved to make a referral to job training or a job as part of the package of services that a Medicaid recipient would receive.Nonprofits in Arizona and around the nation have reacted negatively to the Arizona plan. Tara McCollum Plese of the Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers, for example, noted that these punitive restrictions are inconsistent with the “safety net” purpose of Medicaid.There is a major nonprofit-like entity that has endorsed the Arizona proposals: Americans for Prosperity, the conservative activist group co-founded by Charles and David Koch. The organization’s Arizona policy analyst, Boaz Witback, explained the rationale simply: “It reduces dependency on government and encourages able-bodied folks to work.”There is enough information on programs that work and don’t work to tell Ducey and other Arizona public policy decision-makers that most Medicaid recipients work, that the proposed punitive work requirements will likely be counterproductive, that HSA programs might be expensive to operate and not particularly efficient, and that wellness programs have been shown to be of little productive use. That clearly isn’t really what is behind the Arizona idea. It is yet another program meant to make decisions on behalf of poor people because of conservatives’ belief that poor people are poor due to their own decision-making shortcomings. Score it as one more state effort to redefine “anti-poverty” as “anti-poor.” –Rick CohenShare7TweetShare2Email9 Shares
Middle Eastern broadcaster MBC Group is to launch a raft of high definition channels across the Middle East and North Africa after it struck a deal with satellite services operator Eutelsat.The announcement was made at Informa Telecoms and Media’s Digital TV Middle East event.MBC, which is based in Dubai, is planning to launch a bouquet of HD channels in January. The deal comes twenty years after MBC Group and Eutelsat struck a deal to launch free-to-air channel MBC1. The new channels will launch on Eutelsat’s Atlantic Bird 7 satellite and the lease of a full transponder will allow MBC to launch a raft of other additional digital services.MBC Group chief operating officer Sam Barnett said: “We are enthusiastic about this additional capacity on the Atlantic Bird 7 satellite that will allow us to further expand in the future and meet the expectations of our loyal viewers across the MENA region”.
UK free-to-air satellite platform Freesat has named Manhattan as the third set-top partner for its next-generation set-top box, set to launch in the first part of this year.Manhattan already supplies Freesat HD boxes. In September 2011 Freesat named Sagemcom and Humax as suppliers of the next-generation devices.
Rival Spanish media groups Canal Plus and Mediapro have reached a truce in their long-running war over football rights by agreeing to share La Liga rights for the next three seasons.Under the latest deal, Canal Plus will air matches on pay TV, and Mediapro’s Gol TV will air eight matches a week on digital-terrestrial TV, while La Sexta will air a free-to-air game each Monday.
The European Satellite Operators Association (ESOA) has appointed Eutelsat CEO Michel de Rosen as its new chairman of the board. The appointment was made at ESOA’s annual general meeting, which also saw Dave McGlade, CEO of Intelsat, re-elected as first vice chairman and Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat, elected second vice chairman.Rosen succeeds former Telenor CEO Cato Halsaa in the chairman role. Paying tribute to his predecessor, he said: “During the last year, under Cato’s leadership, ESOA has been shaping the Brussels debate around spectrum.“The goal is to ensure recognition of the role of satellites by demonstrating our sector’s heavy use of radio frequencies and by promoting an honest debate about what spectrum is actually required for what services.”
Mobile telephony for cable is a “big scale game” that cable operators should enter wholeheartedly or not at all according to Graeme Oxby, executive director, mobile and home phone, Virgin Media. The Liberty Global-owned UK cable operator is moving to a full MVNO offering as it ramps up its mobile offering.Oxby, speaking on a panel session at the CTAM Europe EuroSummit in Barcelona, said that one key lesson for cable operators launching mobile services was not to launch only SIM-only offerings rather than a full range of post-paid offerings.Challenges include creatign an operating model that works and balancing investment choices between mobile and the cable network, said Oxby.“We don’t have to dominate the UK mobile phone market. However, we are interested in taking as big a share of household expenditure on mobile as we can,” said Oxby.There is much reduced churn on the cable network as a result of offering mobile, said Oxby.“The recession has been great for people like ourselves because quad-play is a value proposition,” said Oxby.Oxby said video was an important part of the mobile experience and said that cable operators were helping deliver it by providing WiFi.Speaking on the same panel, Ludolf Rasterhoff, COO at Maltese cable operator Melita, said his company is building WiFi across the entire Maltese territory and complemeting it with 3G. The aim of the company is to provide a unified experience for subscribers including giving access to content to subscribers wherever they are.Melita had been forced to build its own mobile network after facing refusal by competitors Go and Malta Telecom to allow it to launch an MVNO. “Now that we have our network and we’re cash flow positive it’s a terrific asset,” he said.
Swedish cable operator Com Hem has reportedly held preliminary talks with London-based private-equity firm BC Partners about an initial public offering.According to a Bloomberg report, which cites three people familiar with the matter, discussions are at an early stage, with no decision yet reached about the stock market float.BC reportedly hasn’t appointed advisors to manage a sale, with a final decision on the IPO expected to be made once a replacement has been found for outgoing CEO Tomas Franzen, who is due to leave the firm at the end of this year.
TiVo has launched OnePass, an “all access” service that gathers together and gives viewers access to content, regardless of whether it comes from live or recorded TV, on-demand or streaming apps.The service, which the DVR maker introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, organises episodes of shows by season and is available on TiVo boxes or via TiVo’s mobile apps.If an episode or a season is not available as a recording, OnePass will include episodes from a user’s on-demand library or streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus, said TiVo.“As we continue to see exponential growth in binge watching and the nearly ubiquitous presence of OTT video subscription services alongside traditional cable, TiVo continues to fulfil our mission to deliver the best entertainment experience for viewers,” said Jim Denney, vice president of product marketing at TiVo.“OnePass is a significant step in our continued efforts to simplify and organise the exploding amount of great content available today – a solution we know becomes even more important as individual TV shows, movies and videos are spread throughout an increasing number of entertainment services.”
UK media and telecom regulator Ofcom will, from April 1, oblige BT to maintain a sufficient margin between its wholesale and retail superfast broadband charges, in order to allow other providers profitably to match its prices. According to Ofcom, BT will continue to be able to set its wholesale fibre prices, but not at a level that could prevent other operators from competing profitably for superfast broadband customers.The regulator said that its indicative assessment of BT’s virtual unbundled local access pricing showed that BT is currently maintaining a sufficient margin between wholesale and fibre prices. However, the new rule has been introduced as a safeguard, limiting the telco’s ability to squeeze retail margins in the future.Ofcom said that the new pricing rule took into account the costs and revenues of BT’s sport channels, offered free to high-speed broadband customers, as well as other elements included by BT in its retail superfast broadband bundles. The regulator’s move follows an intervention by the European Commission, leading it to clarify how it will take account of changes to how BT distributes and charges for sport content, such as Champions League football, when assessing BT’s compliance with its rule.
Michel PaulinAltice-owned French service provider SFR has named Michel Paulin as its new CEO.Paulin was previously chief executive at Morocco’s second largest operator, Méditel. He also previously served as CEO at French operator Neuf Cegetel, latterly absorbed into SFR.Paulin will head up the new executive committee announced by Altice COO Michel Combes last week. Combes was also last week named as interim chief executive for SFR, replacing Eric Denoyer. Combes will continue to serve as president of the company’s administrative council.Paulin is expected to take up his role in the course of the second quarter.“I am proud and delighted to be able to welcome Michel at the head of SFR’s new executive committee. Since our days at the Polytechnique, we have always maintained a strong relationship based on confidence and friendship and have never ceased to want to work together,” said Combes.“Our personal and professional closeness will be a major advantage for the success of SFR. We are very keen now to lead the dream team at the head of the company to numerous successes. His highly experienced profile and deep knowledge of telecoms, in France and internationally, both in fixed and mobile, will enable SFR to accelerate its already-started path of renewal and make it the leading operator in very high-speed internet and content.”
Global PC shipments dropped by 9.6% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2016, with the move to HD TV impacting sales in some European markets, according to Gartner.The research firm said that worldwide PC shipments totalled 64.8 million units in Q1, marking the sixth consecutive quarter of PC shipment declines and the first time since 2007 that shipment volume fell below 65 million units.In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, PC shipments totalled 19.5 million units in Q1, a 10% year-on-year decline.“In Western Europe, consumer demand remained stable in Germany and the UK, while in France, the PC segment was impacted by the transition to high-definition TV,” said Gartner.“Consumers preferred to buy new TVs or a specific box for the TV reception. In the business segment, large organisations are testing and evaluating Windows 10, and major deployment will start at the end of 2016.”Gartner said that PCs are not being adopted in new households as they were in the past, “especially in emerging markets” where smartphones are the priority.However, in the business segment, Gartner analysts said the Windows 10 refresh is expected to start toward the end of 2016.
German cable operator Tele Columbus has upgraded its network in Magdeburg via its local subsidiary, MDCC Magdeburg-City-Com.The upgrade means that from July 1, some 80,000 households in the city will have access to 240Mbps internet access. The operator has invested some €4 million in upgrading its network in the city to offer ultra-fast internet.MDCC has also upped the speed of its popular MDCC-HIT package from 16Mbps to 30Mbps at no extra cost to subscribers.MDCC CEO Guido Nienhaus said the company would offer its housing industry partners the opportunity to add value to their networks.
Russian service provider MTS has entered the rapidly growing eSports market by acquiring leading eSports team group Gambit Esports.MTS has acquired Praliss Enterprises, which manages Gambit Esports. The latter unites four teams of eSports players – with 16 players in total – that compete in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Dota 2 and FIFA competitions.Gambit Esports teams have won major World and European competitions. Gambit’s roster of players includes the current World champions in CS:GO, the first team from the CIS countries to have won.MTS said that it planned to combine marketing activities in eSports with the development of new products for gamers. The ompany has created an eSports division within its own innovation centre, headed by gaming expert and Virtus.pro co-founder Irina Semenova.Gambit Esports CEO Konstantin Pikiner will take on the position of sports director for MTS.MTS has been active in providing technical support for eSports, including establishing direct connections to the servers of the largest gaming companies for both mobile and fixed-line operations.In 2016 MTS became technical partner for the GamerStadium project, housing the largest cyber-sport club in Moscow. MTS has also crated a special fixed data tariff for gamers.“It’s an important and iconic event for our organisation. The eSports industry is growing rapidly. The level of competition is higher than it has ever been before. Big brands from all over the world, famous sports and entertainment organisations have begun investing in the eSports industry. Therefore we are glad that Russian companies are not an exception. The opportunities provided by one of the leading technology companies will allow us to focus on achieving competitive success and interaction with our audience,” said Pikiner.
EE is trialling a 4G antenna solution in a bid to offer fast, over-the-air broadband to households in rural parts of the UK.EE said the new 4G home broadband is targeted particularly at houses in rural areas that can currently only access broadband at speeds below 10Mbps.The company’s 4G home broadband combines a 4GEE Home Router with an external antenna. EE claims it can offer speeds as fast as fixed-line fibre broadband services, with trial speeds of over 100Mbps logged in the Cumbria region.“As our network continues to expand into some of the most remote parts of the UK, we’ve seen the amazing impact that 4G connectivity can have on rural communities,” said Max Taylor, managing director of marketing, EE.“Our newest 4G home broadband router and antenna takes this one step further, ensuring thousands of families in rural areas across the UK could enjoy the benefits of superfast broadband inside their home for the very first time – whether video-calling the grandparents or streaming their favourite TV series.”EE has been trialling the solution in the Northern Fells in Cumbria and estimates that that there are some 580,000 homes in the UK with slow or no fixed-line access that could benefit from the solution.