O2 and Vodafone have confirmed the deal that will see
them share mobile network assets across Europe.
The partnership was revealed by Mobile at the
start of this month (March).
Telefonica and Vodafone will use the
agreement, which is expected to save ‘hundreds of millions of pounds’ over the
next 10 years, to aid the roll-out of their networks. The two companies said
the deal will pave the way for improved mobile broadband coverage across the UK.
In the UK,
both companies will focus on joint build of new sites and consolidation of
existing 2G and 3G sites.
Meanwhile, in Ireland, the operators
will open all network sites for sharing by the other party.
In Spain, the
operators will to extend existing site share agreement from
2007, which includes the shared usage of power, cabinets and masts. To date
2,200 sites are shared under this agreement and during 2009 and 2010 additional
sites will be added. In Germany, the networks
will share existing 2G and 3G sites.
Telefónica Europe CEO, Matthew Key, said: ‘In a
fast changing business climate, operators need to look at different ways to
serve customers both now and in the future. This industry-leading collaboration
means that Telefónica and Vodafone will continue to compete strongly against
each other in local markets, while giving our customers enhanced mobile
coverage in more places, using fewer mast sites. This will also create
significant benefits for Telefónica shareholders. We are actively
exploring additional areas for cooperation and, by reducing our costs in areas
of the business that customers don’t see, we can ensure that we invest in areas
they truly value.’
Vodafone Europe CEO, Michel Combes, said: 'Vodafone
has led the market in developing effective network sharing business models, and
continues to drive the scale and scope of such agreements. This is a further
example of Vodafone’s ongoing commitment to deliver the highest levels of
service quality for our customers while delivering greater cost efficiencies to
the business. This move will enable us to focus our resources on developing
more innovative and market leading services while delivering on our pledge to
reduce the environmental impact of our network roll out.’