ShinyShiny tech news: O2 to reintroduce EU roaming charges

One of the UK’s biggest mobile phone networks has announced roaming charges for Britons travelling to the EU, in a blow to Boris Johnson’s Brexit celebrations. Customers of O2 have been told they will be billed £3.50 for every gigabyte (GB) of data used above a new limit of 25GB, from August. The move comes after the Christmas Eve trade agreement signed by the UK left open the option of the return of roaming charges – which were scrapped across the EU in 2017. In an embarrassment to the prime minister, it was announced on the fifth anniversary of the Brexit ‘yes’ vote, as he hailed the result as a spur to improving people’s lives. Independent

A new high-tech 5G lab designed to make the UK less reliant on a small number of multinational suppliers has launched, as the Government attempts to fill the void left by Huawei. The Sonic Labs facility, based in London and Brighton, will aim to accelerate the development of 5G communication kit that is interoperable with components made by others to prevent over-reliance on one firm. It comes after the Government ordered operators in the UK to strip their networks of Huawei-made 5G equipment by 2027 over security concerns, following US sanctions restricting Huawei’s ability to build chips. With only a handful of suppliers in the market, the Government’s 5G diversification strategy pushes for the adoption of Open RAN, a network architecture that allows operators to use parts from multiple vendors that are able to work together. Yahoo!

Microsoft has become only the second US company to be worth more than $2 trillion (£1.4bn), beating Amazon into an ultra-exclusive club previously only occupied by Apple. The Seattle-based computing behemoth soared just above the mark on Tuesday on the back of strong expectations for its booming cloud computing business. Microsoft is set to be a key beneficiary of the Covid-induced changes that continue to ripple through the global economy, with chief executives planning for prolonged remote and hybrid work. Even as many employees return to the office, chief executive Satya Nadella appears to be betting on permanently elevated demand for its Office 365 and Teams software suites and Azure cloud computing service. Telegraph

Half of British drivers say they would switch to an electric vehicle to help the environment, a new study has found. A survey carried out for Volkswagen Financial Services found that 50 per cent of motorists in the UK would swap from internal combustion-powered cars in a bid to go green. A whopping 78 per cent also said they felt that continuing to use petrol and diesel cars would harm the planet. The research, carried out to mark Clean Air Day last week, also found that pricing remains a major stumbling block when it comes to switching to an EV. The current average cost of a new EV is £43,896, with 59 per cent of participants telling the survey that figure would need to fall by at least £15,000 if they were to consider a change. Car Dealer

John McAfee, the outlandish security software pioneer who tried to live life as a hedonistic outsider while running from a host of legal troubles, was found dead in his jail cell near Barcelona on Wednesday. His death came just hours after a Spanish court announced that it had approved his extradition to the United States to face tax charges punishable by decades in prison, authorities said. McAfee, who was among other things a cryptocurrency promoter, tax opponent, U.S. presidential candidate and fugitive, who publicly embraced drugs, guns and sex, had a history of legal woes spanning from Tennessee to Central America to the Caribbean. In 2012, he was sought for questioning in connection with the murder of his neighbor in Belize, but was never charged with a crime. AP News

Chris Price