Eurobites: Rivals to move ahead with UK mast-sharing plan without BT – report

Also in today's regional roundup: Nokia's new customer-experience software; UK regulator to examine email retention charges; what we could be eating in Barcelona.

  • UK mobile operators O2, Vodafone and Three are planning to leave BT out in the cold and formulate their own rural mast-sharing plan without the UK incumbent's participation, according to unnamed sources cited by the Telegraph. The original idea was that all four operators would work together to combat "not-spots" in rural areas, but BT, which owns the majority of the masts, was more interested in charging access fees for them rather than sharing equipment for the common good, according to its rivals.

  • Nokia has introduced two new cloud-native software tools it says will help service providers operate their networks more efficiently. Assurance Center, it says here, "blends the traditionally separate fault and performance management processes to drive intelligent root cause analysis," while Experience Center helps service providers meet their service level agreements.

  • Ofcom, the UK communications regulator, is writing to broadband companies to ask why some of them are forcing former customers to pay up to £7.50 (US$9.67) a month to retain their existing email addresses when they move to another provider. As the BBC reports, Money Box, a radio program, spoke to several people who had fallen foul of such charges, as well as some who say they were put off switching at all by the prospect of having to fork out for the privilege of keeping their email. This is one income stream that might be drying up soon for some broadband providers…

  • Today would have been the first day of Mobile World Congress 2020, which, as we're sure everyone knows, was canceled due to mass industry concern about the impact of the coronavirus, or COVID-19 as it is officially known. The list of things the industry will miss by not converging on Barcelona is long, and among them is the wonderful food to be found in the city. Here's what the Light Reading crew had been expecting to face this lunchtime as part of the annual trip the MWC:

    Instead, at least for the fiercely traditional British contingent at Light Reading, here's what we're staring at instead:

    Buen provecho!

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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