The Office of Fair Trading has cleared the infrastructure joint venture between O2 and Vodafone.
Vodafone CEO Guy Laurence and O2 CEO Ronan Dunne welcomed the news and said both businesses would work to pool the basic parts of their network infrastructure to create one national grid. It is hoped the scheme will deliver indoor 2G and 3G coverage for 98% of the UK population by 2015.
Ronan Dunne said: 'This partnership is about working smarter as an industry, so that we can focus on what really matters to our customers – delivering a superfast network up to two years faster than Ofcom envisages and to as many people as possible. One physical grid, running independent networks, will mean broader coverage and, crucially, investment in innovation and better competition for the customer. We look forward to Ofcom’s spectrum auction and the release of 800 spectrum.'
Guy Laurence said: 'This is excellent news for British consumers, businesses and the wider economy: we are promising indoor coverage for 98% of the UK population across all technologies within three years. We will bring the best mobile coverage that this country has ever enjoyed to more people than ever before. Our existing customers will benefit on the devices that they have today and we will lay the foundations for the real 4G network they will want tomorrow.'
Under the terms of the network share, the two operators will create a national grid of around 18,500 sites. Each network will take responsibility for a certain part of the UK.
Editor: Graeme Neill