9/2/2010 9:43:00 AM
Cornerstone recruits to speed up programme
Cornerstone, the company that manages the O2 and Vodafone network share, is recruiting for each region as it looks to accelerate its infrastructure sharing programme.
The move comes amid growing claims of discontent at the joint venture, which sources said was behind target.
Mobile understands that little ‘consolidation’ work (pulling the sites down) has gone ahead as yet, as the operators struggle to negotiate the termination of leases on the masts. The company had originally planned to plough this money back into the network share.
One source said: ‘It’s finance and legals, such as breaking the lease – people won’t want to break the lease because it’s making them money.’
In May, Mobile revealed Rob Crutchley, head of the O2 and Vodafone network share company Cornerstone, would leave in July after just 12 months at the helm.
The news followed claims that Vodafone had not been meeting its targets, which are understood to be 250 joint build sites per month, for O2 to hit targets by the end of the year. As a result, there is thought to be unrest in the O2 camp.
However, in April the two companies had claimed that Cornerstone was ‘over delivering’, with 300 more shared sites live since October 2009.
O2 and Vodafone said in a joint statement: ‘As we said in June, Cornerstone is currently exceeding its original targets and the rollout of hundreds of more shared sites is progressing well. Cornerstone is a joint operation and both parties remain committed to its success.
‘Site consolidation is one part of our strategy and we have successfully run a number of consolidation trials across the UK. We continue to make steady progress in negotiating leases and are working hard to deliver the right infrastructure for our customers while driving efficiencies.
‘Staff numbers remain in line with our original plan.’