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Eurobites: UK Mobile Operators to Get Dumped by Text

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Safaricom boss Collymore dies; ETSI tweaks NFV for 5G; BT hires some job-cutting muscle.

  • UK mobile operators may need to up their game following today's introduction of new regulations that allow their customers to switch to another provider just be sending a (free) text message. Under the new rules devised by communications regulator Ofcom, those customers with itchy feet simply need to text the word "PAC" (for "portable authorization code") to their existing provider, who is then compelled by law to respond within a minute with the desired switching code. This code is then given to their new provider, who must arrange for the switch to complete within one working day. Previously, customers wanting to make the move were often faced with tiresome phone conversations with call center workers at their existing provider, who were obliged to attempt to persuade them to stay.

    Ofcom is also banning so-called "notice-period charges," where switchers faced paying their old and new mobile operator at the same time. According to the regulator, this will save UK mobile customers £10 million (US$12.6 million) a year.

  • Bob Collymore, the CEO of Kenya's Safaricom, has died at the age of 61 after a prolonged struggle against acute myeloid leukemia, a form of cancer. It was only in May that Safaricom extended his contract for another year, to August 2020, the intention being that Collymore would help the operator develop new revenue streams. Guyana-born Collymore took the top job at Safaricom in 2010 and had previously spent more than ten years in various roles at Vodafone followed by a 20-month stint as chief officer for corporate affairs at South Africa's Vodacom. Kenya's deputy president, William Samoei Ruto, took to Twitter to praise Collymore, calling him "a distinguished corporate titan, whose shrewd leadership at the helm of Safaricom was commendable." (See Bob Collymore Loses His Battle With Cancer.)

  • The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has announced new features to its NFV (network functions virtualization) architecture in an attempt to render it more 5G friendly. The new NFV Release 3 includes support for network slicing in NFV and management over multi-administrative domains, among other goodies. According to ETSI, these features are essential to cope with the variety of applications expected to run on top of a 5G system.

  • BT is beefing up its human resources heft as it prepares to axe 13,000 employees and become, in telco terms, a toned gym-bunny as opposed to a bloated couch-potato. The operator has appointed former Unilever human resources supremo Leena Nair to its board, who, according to BT Chairman Jan du Plessis, has a "deep understanding of the strategic and practical challenges of driving large scale cultural transformation" -- which sounds like code for someone who has control of the jobs axe and is not afraid to use it. (See BT's Workforce: It's Not Shrinking as Fast as You Might Think and BT looks more bloated than ever.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • Flasa 2/21/2020 | 4:51:43 AM
    Good article Good reading, thank you for the great article.

     

    Sam //

    Houseofbanks.de

     

     

    MagnusFrederiksen 7/3/2019 | 4:56:07 AM
    What a catch I really like this content! However, the heading reminds me of my first relationship, haha. Bad joke - sorry! But the content is very informing and it actually is quite eye-opening to learn how things are done sometimes, even it fairly big companies.

     

    - Magnus Frederiksen, Online banker and language specialist at Morebanker //

    Morebanker.se

    Morebanker.de

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