7/7/2010 11:08:00 AM
3 network rollout is 10 months late
3 has admitted that its extensive network rollout, which has been taking place since December 2007, is running 10 months behind schedule.
The operator entered into its network share agreement with T-Mobile, called MBNL, at the end of December 2007. The agreement is set to continue and in October 2010, 3 will have 12,500 masts.
Kevin Russell, 3’s CEO, said: ‘The network is the core of any mobile business. We had a view to deliver a master 3G network. We had a magical vision that it would be done and dusted by December 2009, but it has been harder than we could ever imagine.’
The venture has slowed after problems negotiating planning permission for masts, said Russell.
He added: ‘We have had to go through three and a half years from where our network is a weakness to now where it is a strength – it is now all about data.’
3’s network has suffered from strain, with 97% of its traffic coming from data. It also claims to carry around 50% of the UK’s data traffic.
Meanwhile, spectrum remains a key issue for the operator, Russell said. The Government decision on spectrum allocation must be ‘fair’ and give the network the ‘opportunity’ to get access to the right radio waves, he added.