In Brief: Chinese telcos ink tower costs deal 

***China's three main telecoms operators have brokered a deal that will see them pay lower rates for leasing tower space in the wake of the creation of their tower assets joint venture late last year.China Mobile,China Unicom and China Telecom issued stock exchange filings detailing the new costs they will pay for access to towers that are now held by China Tower. The filings show that the operators will receive hefty discounts on leasing charges for sites shared by two or more telcos.There is a separate schedule of charges for access to existing towers that were wrapped into China Tower last year and for new towers, as well as different rates for towers that were already subject to sharing deals before the creation of China Tower.

***Gabon’s Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Posts (ARCEP) has finalised the latest phase of its universal service strategy, as it seeks to eliminate so-called mobile coverage ‘white spots’. According to local news site TICmag.net, rules governing a new pilot project were presented to Pastor Ngoua N’Neme, the minister of digital economy on 7 July, by Serge Essongue, executive secretary of ARCEP. The first area to receive improved connectivity has been named as the Ogooue-Ivindo province, which is the north-eastern-most of the nine provinces of Gabon.

***Equinix has today announced that it will invest $113 million in the first phase of development for its new International Business Exchange (IBX) in Amsterdam.

***Verizon this week completed its 5G radio specification, which it says will inform the development of the next-generation of mobile technology.
The U.S.telco said the specification was drawn up by its 5G Technical Forum, a working group that as well as itself includes Cisco, Ericsson, Intel, LG, Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung. The specification will help companies test and validate components that could one day become important parts of a standardised 5G network.

•***GE and Microsoft announce cloud data capture partnership
•Thirty more UK communities get ultrafast FTTH
•SSE Enterprise Telecoms strikes Ethernet deal with Colt
•Seacom launches peering link in Sweden
•Angola Cables seeks infrastructure co-share with Telebras
•Verizon completes 5G specification
•Cellnex invests €80m in French Bouygues towers

***Nepal’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, Ncell, has requested additional wireless frequencies from the regulator, the Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA). Ncell is looking to boost its frequencies so that its holdings match those of rival operator Nepal Telecom (NT). According to a report from the Kathmandu Post, Axiata subsidiary Ncell has requested 1.6MHz in the 900MHz band to give it 9.6MHz, 4MHz at 1800MHz to give it 15MHz, 5MHz in the 2100MHz range to give it 15MHz, and a brand new allocation of 30MHz in the 2300MHz band to match the frequencies that NT currently holds for WiMAX-based services.The NTA says it will look at awarding the spectrum once the country’s radio frequency policy has been amended; a new draft of the policy has been submitted to the Ministry of Information and Communication (MoIC) for review and approval. It is being altered to allow for technology neutrality, enabling operators to use their existing 1800MHz spectrum for 4G services.