T-Mobile UK and 3 reached a milestone last Friday (9 September) when Ericsson activated the 10,000th shared site for Mobile Broadband Network Ltd (MBNL) - the two operators’ network consolidation company.
When the consolidation is complete, the MBNL network will consist of around 12,500 sites integrating the former T-Mobile UK and 3 networks, which previously numbered more than 18,000 2G and 3G sites in total.
Ericsson has a five year managed services contract announced last year for network design, deployment, the acquisition and building of sites, capacity management, equipment swaps and upgrades to transmission facilities. Services activities commenced February 2009 and are scheduled to complete by 10 October 2010 resulting in close to 12,500 active consolidated sites.
T-Mobile and 3 say the consolidation gives MBNL one of the most advanced, high quality mobile networks, providing very high capacity mobile broadband and voice services across Britain. The consolidation will improve the environmental footprint of the network while at the same time reduced operating expenses due to less power consumption, fewer sites and smaller footprint on the sites.
Mobile revealed on 3 September that Orange sites will also be consolidated into MBNL, a process that is expected to take up to five years to complete.
Graham Payne, MD of MBNL, said: ‘When we decided to merge the T-Mobile and 3 networks we had clear targets as to efficiency gains, cost achievements, quality enhancement and extended coverage of mobile data services. This network consolidation and the benefits it brings make a real difference to mobile consumers, many of whom for the first time now get access to the internet.’
Anders Runevad, president of Ericsson Region Western and Central Europe, added: ‘The success of this unprecedented consolidation process proves that new business models create win-win situations for all partners in our industry.’