The four operators involved in protracted network share arrangements are remaining tight-lipped about when the deals will come to fruition.
Orange and Vodafone signed a non-binding arrangement in February. The operators are now thought to be in negotiations over the value of their network assets. Talks between 3 and T-Mobile are considered to be at a far less advanced stage.
Both deals are expected to slash millions off the costs for the operators.
Despite signing a memorandum of understanding in August, 3 and T-Mobile are yet to officially enter into an agreement, with the non-binding legal document setting out the planned agreement between the companies.
A T-Mobile spokesman said: ‘It’s common knowledge that we are working towards implementing an arrangement [with 3], but there are still a lot of legals to work out. When the time is right, we will make an announcement.’
Vodafone and Orange announced back in February that they planned to combine networks in a bid to save money and speed up the rollout of new 3G services.
The deal covers both existing and new development of the companies’ 3G networks as well as 2G in rural areas. The two networks are believed to be discussing the relative values of each other’s network assets, specifically masts.
The operators must also convince regulatory body Ofcom that any network sharing deal will not adversely affect competition in the market.
With Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile and 3 all teaming up, O2 will be the only operator without a network partner to share costs, and the one furthest behind in terms of 3G coverage.
Orange, Vodafone and 3 said there were no significant developments to report.