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Athens: International Broadband Convergence

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis opened a two-day international conference on “Broadband Convergence in Telecommunications and Media” yesterday, organised by the Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission (EETT). The aim of the conference is to highlight the significance of convergence as a means for social, economic and cultural development. Addressing the conference, the PM outlined the government’s strategy for expanding the use of broadband, citing, among others, a major project for developing new generation optical fibres, budgeted at €2.1 billion, and hundreds of smaller projects currently in progress for the spread of broadband use. EETT: Programme of the 4th International Conference on Broadband

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Greece: Challenges in the Digital Era

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)     A conference on the “Digital Dividend” took place (February 24) organised by the Hellenic Communications and Post Commission. Minister of Transport and Communications Evripidis Stylianidis, Deputy Interior Minister responsible for the media Konstantinos Gioulekas, President of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation Christos Panagopoulos, directors of regulatory bodies across Europe, corporate executives and experts in the field of telecommunications  addressed the event.  The conference focused on Greece’s regulatory framework and  elaborated on the technological applications, as well as the prospects in terms of business opportunities. The ‘digital dividend’ is the part of the radio spectrum which will be freed up when analogue television (occupying large part of the spectrum) is switched off and replaced by digital (which utilises far less).  Greece has declared 2009 “Year of Broadband, Telecommunications and Mass Media Convergence.” Ministry of Transport and Communications: ww.yme.gr; Secretariat General for Communication-Information: Legislation and Audiovisual Policy & About Greece- Mass Media   EETT: Radio Spectrum Availability for New Mobile Telecommunications Services   European Commission- Communications: EU Member States on course for analogue terrestrial TV switch-off & Digital Broadcasting- National Switchover Plans

Crete: Quality of Life

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    The Civil Society and New Forms of Governance in Europe (CINEFOGO) is”hosting a summer session on “Sociology and the Quality of Life,” at the University of Crete, which begins today and continues until July 18. The event aims to explore how theory and methods can be combined in the study of societies in Europe in general and the study of quality of life in particular. An additional theme is the combination of different methods in the study of European societies.  Continue reading

Greek Media Takeovers

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Greece’s second-biggest provider of web services Forthnet gained Naspers‘s Greek and Cypriot pay-TV unit NetMed NV, known for its subscriber satellite service Nova, for €490 million. Naspers is a multinational media company located in South Africa, with significant operations in Greece through NetMed. Forthnet S.A., was established in October 1995 by the Foundation for Technology and Research and Minoan Lines S.A. The company was listed on the main market of the Athens Stock Exchange in the year 2000. It was the first company to introduce the Internet in Greece and currently has a large portfolio of Internet services. Through this acquisition, Forthnet will be able to offer high-speed Internet, TV and phone services with nationwide coverage, while it turns into a considerable media company. Bloomberg: Naspers Plans Internet Purchases as Ad Growth Slows; Secretariat General of Information: About Greece, Telecommunications

Deutsche Telekom Back acquired 20% of Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) shares

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    On March 17, Deutsche Telekom – Europe’s biggest telephone company – acquired 20% of Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) shares from Marfin Investment Group (MIG) for €2.5 billion. The acquisition rendered the German giant the biggest stakeholder in the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation, after the Greek state, with 28%. Four days later, Minister of Finance Alogoskoufis announced the government’s intention to sell up to 8% of the Greek state’s 28% share to the German buyer in the context of its decision to secure the German provider as a strategic partner. Greece has long sought a strategic investor for OTE, in order to secure a form of shared management without ceding management control, but has not yet settled on the form it may take. Reuters.com: Greece willing to share management of OTE with DT; Secretariat General of Information: About Brand Greece-Telecommunications