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Telefónica and Vodafone to combine UK nets
07 June 2012
Telefónica O2 and Vodafone to run independent spectrum on combined network of 18,500 base stations
Telefónica — which runs the O2 brand — and Vodafone are to combine their UK networks for 2G and 3G services and prepare for 4G services, but the companies will run independent spectrum on their 18,500 base stations.
The move is seen as a response to the existing combined network MBNL which provides services for Everything Everywhere — which operates T-Mobile UK and Orange UK — and Three UK. It will mean that the UK has effectively two networks of base stations.
The Telefónica-Vodafone service will be able to offer indoor 2G and 3G coverage to 98% of the UK population by 2015, say the companies. They add: “The partnership will lay the foundations for two competing 4G networks to deliver a nationwide 4G service faster than could be achieved independently and up to two years before the anticipated regulatory requirement of 98% population coverage by 2017.”
Ronan Dunne, CEO of Telefónica UK, said: “This partnership is about working smarter as an industry, so that we can focus on what really matters to our customers — delivering a superfast network up to two years faster than Ofcom envisages and to as many people as possible.”
Vodafone UK CEO Guy Laurence said the move would “create two stronger players who will compete with each other and with other operators to bring the benefits of mobile internet services to consumers and businesses across the country”.
The companies have adopted the slogan “one grid, two networks” for their shared infrastructure, which will be run by a 50-50 joint venture company that will own the two operators’ existing basic network infrastructure.
They say they “will retain complete control over their wireless spectrum, intelligent core networks and customer data”. GTB