6/22/2009 11:52:00 AM
O2 and Vodafone announce first network share site has gone live
O2 and Vodafone’s first shared network infrastructure in the UK went live today, after a deal saw the two companies agree to share networks.
The partnership, which was exclusively revealed by Mobile at the start of March, saw the operators share mobile network assets across Europe.
In the latest move, Vodafone equipment was added to an existing O2 site, which the companies said will ‘significantly add to network coverage on a busy section of the M4 Motorway’. It will also allow for a neighbouring site to be removed in the ‘near future’.
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 extend an 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.
The operators said: ‘The benefits of the joint programme are already being seen, with the whole process from planning to implementation completed in 11 weeks, compared to nine months for a typical standalone site.’
They added: ‘This is the first of many shared sites that will be delivered over the coming months. Plans for other sites are now well advanced and progressing well.’