Consumer Protection Board takes Elisa to court

The Consumer Protection Board has taken mobile phone operator Elisa to court over e-bill fees.

The aim is to get the money charged for bills sent by email back for customers, the Board told ETV on Thursday.

The Board said customers should have the possibility of receiving e-bills without an additional charge.

Elisa said customers can log into their online accounts and see their bills for free.

At the beginning of the year the company instituted a 60-cent surcharge for bills sent via e-mail.

Source: ERR News

The digital gap between generations is decreasing

According to Statistics Estonia, in the 1st quarter of 2014, 83% of households in Estonia had access to the Internet at home. The gap between the younger and older population in computer and Internet use is decreasing.

Compared to the same period of the previous year, the percentage of households with an Internet connection has increased by 4 percentage points.  Almost all households with children (98%) and three-quarters of households without children (78%) had the possibility to use the Internet at home. While Internet access at home is the least common in single-person households (71%), the share of those having Internet access at home has grown the most (two-fold) in specifically this group in the previous five years.

Although a fixed broadband connection (wired or wireless) is still the most prevalent among homes with Internet access, the share of fixed broadband connections at homes has decreased in the last two years, giving way to the use of mobile internet connections. In the 1st quarter of 2014, 61% of households with Internet access at home used a mobile internet connection (in 2010, the share was only 6%).

Among persons aged 16–74, 84% have used a computer and the Internet. Compared to the same period of the previous year, the share of Internet users has increased by five percentage points. Although the older population uses computers and the Internet less than the young, the gap between younger and older Internet users has still been decreasing from year to year. 70% of 55–64-year-olds and 44% of 65–74-year-olds had used the Internet, and the share of Internet users has increased the most in those age groups, compared to the previous year (by 7 and 13 percentage points, respectively).

In addition to the growth in the number of Internet users, the frequency of Internet use has also increased. In the 1st quarter of 2014, 86% of Internet users used it daily (80% in 2013). Nine out of ten 16–74-year-olds had recently (in the last 3 months) used Internet banking, sent e-mails, sought information and read the news on the Internet. 60% had participated in social networks, 50% had made telephone calls via the Internet, and one-third had watched television or listened to radio programmes online.

49% of 16–74-year-olds used the Internet for purchasing goods or services. The products and services purchased online the most were: clothes or sports goods, travel and accommodation services, and tickets for concerts, cinema, theatre and other events.

Slightly more than three-quarters of enterprises with 10 and more employees have a website, which is mainly used for presenting products and services. A quarter of enterprises having  a webpage provides information on job openings on their site or offers the possibility to submit job applications online. Online ordering or booking is available in 14% of enterprises having a webpage.

Year by year, the number of enterprises using the ID card has been growing steadily. Estonian enterprises use the ID card mainly for digital signatures but also for user verification in different information systems. Nearly a fifth of enterprises are very satisfied and a quarter of enterprises are satisfied with the e-services supplied by the government.

Statistics Estonia studies the use of information technology in households and among persons aged 16–74 as an independent survey since 2014 (from 2005 to 2013 it was part of the Labour Force Survey). The survey is carried out in the 2nd quarter; the reference period is the 1st quarter. A household is a group of persons who live at the same address and share joint financial resources and whose members consider themselves to be members of one household, while a family is based on family relationships or kinship.

Statistics Estonia has surveyed the use of information technology in enterprises since 2001. In 2014, approximately 3,000 enterprises participated in the survey. The survey involves enterprises with 10 or more persons employed.

The use of information technology in households, by individuals aged 16–74 and in enterprises is studied by statistical organisations in all the Member States of the European Union on the basis of a harmonised methodology.

Source: Statistics Estonia

GrabCAD sold for 77 mEUR

The world’s largest 3D printer manufacturer, Stratasys, signed a deal to buy GrabCAD, an Estonian-founded startup, on Tuesday.

The sale will be finalized at the end of the month with CEO Hardi Meybaum continuing as head of the company. valued the sale at around 100 million US dollars, or 77 million euros.

Meybaum said the two companies share the same vision of the evolution of design and manufacturing, adding that GrabCAD will now have better resources to develop.

GrabCAD is a collaborative product development tool designed to help engineering teams manage, view and share computer-aided design files. It has more than one million users.

The company was founded in 2009 by Meybaum in Estonia, but moved to the United States in 2011.

Source: ERR News

Estonian security-technology firm teams up with Ericsson

Estonian-based security-technology provider Guardtime has teamed up with Ericsson AB, the world’s biggest maker of wireless-network equipment, to improve the safety and transparency of the data transmitted over its systems, Äripäev reports.

Ericsson, whose customers include wireless carriers such as AT&T and Vodafone Group said that Guardtime’s technology enables real-time governance of networks with the ability to know who is doing what with data.

Read more from BBN

Doubts over data warehouse project

The ambitious plan that is backed by Finnish businessmen and is being promoted by leading IRL politician Eerik-Niiles Kross to build Europe’s largest data warehouse in Estonia raises doubts, writes Delovye Vedomosti.

Dmitri Kostenko from Web Solutions Hosting Ltd says that he is sceptical about the feasibility and cost estimations of the project.

„One questionmark is the cost of the project at about 3,000 euros per square metre. For a turnkey project, it is not enough,” Kostenko todl DV.

„They have also said it would be built either in Muuga or in Paldski which means that it will have water and air cooling which will add notably to the total cost,” he added.

Kostenko adds that such data warehouses are considered low-profit investments which may make it diffficult to attract enough investors for the project.

„Estonia’s own data needs are too small for the capacity of its server stations which means that it would not be feasible without international business,” he added.

Also , according to the project manager Jussi Vartiainen, the decision whether to build the data warehouse in Paldiski or Muuga will be made in October after the European Commission decides on the funding of Balticconnector gas pipeline and LNG terminal because the facility will require significant gas supply.

Read more from BBN

About 10 percent of Estonians are still using Windows XP

About 10 percent of Estonians are still using Windows XP, the operating system that was introduced in 2001 but retired by Microsoft in April.

“Unfortunately all indications are that the people have not moved away from XP. Why? It’s more a question for psychologists than for IT people,” said the Information System Authority data security expert Anto Veldre on

“Is the problem garden-variety laziness or pirated software people hoarded during the ethics-free development period, which would now have to be replaced?” said Veldre.

Still, in some other countries, XP’s market share is as much as 20 percent, and as recently as last spring, one-third of users in Estonia still used it, the expert said.

Read more from ERR News

Estonia made its first 4G phone call

While you still cannot buy the devices in stores yet, Estonia has made its first 4G phone call.

The managing director of Tele 2, Argo Virkebau, called the head of the startup incubator Technopol, Marek Mühlberg, on Tuesday on a prototype phone, making Estonia one of the few countries to make a 4G network call. Currently the 4G phones can only be used on the 3G network.

“4G calls begin right after dialing, and takes 40 percent less energy. It is also more efficient, and could can have many more people on the network at the same time placing a call, which is a good solution for large-scale events, like the Song Festival,” Virkebau said in a press statement.

Virkebau said that 4G networks will be established in Europe this year, and he expects that it would happen in Tele2 next year. Tele2 is the only operator of the three largest including EMT and Elisa, yet to offer 4G internet in mobile devices.

Tele2’s 4G internet network is able to offer voice over internet calls (VoIP), using its specially designed VoLTE network, which is designed to ensure the quality of VoIP calls and offer other multimedia services.

Source: ERR News


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