9/15/2010 11:48:00 AM
Bidders vie for Orange/T-Mobile network deal
Everything Everywhere has started a bidding war for a major ‘multimillion- pound’ network integration contract for the consolidation of Orange and T-Mobile’s 2G networks across the UK.
Bidders for the contract, estimated to be worth around £300m, include Nokia Siemens, Huawei, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent, said sources.
The deal calls for the removal of approximately 12,000 to 14,000 masts
from an estimated total of 25,000 across Orange and T-Mobile’s combined 2G networks. Sources said the contract is set to be awarded by the end of the year, with work scheduled to start in early 2011.
One source said: ‘Everything Everywhere has put out a multimillion- pound contract to refresh the network – it is combining its 2G networks into one. Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Siemens and Huawei are bidding for it and it should be awarded by the end of the year.’
Everything Everywhere is currently planning the work programme and identifying which masts will be removed from the combined 2G networks.
Sources said it was likely Everything Everywhere would divide the contract up between bidders across regional areas.
One source said: ‘I think it [the contract] will be split. For example, Ericsson will do the South and Nokia Siemens the North. It is a mammoth contract.’
The move is central to Everything Everywhere’s game plan to challenge Vodafone’s network supremacy in the UK. Earlier this month, Orange formally joined 3 and T-Mobile’s 3G network share deal, Mobile Broadband Network Ltd (MBNL). The deal will see Orange integrated into the joint venture over the next three years.
The joint venture has also announced that Orange and T-Mobile’s UK customers will be able to roam across both networks from 5 October.
An Everything Everywhere spokesman declined to comment.