Feeds

Brussels smiles on 3G network sharing

O2/T-Mobile tie-up close to approval

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Rival 3G operators 02 and T-Mobile are close to receiving approval from the European Commission to share network capacity in the UK.

Formal approval depends on follow a month of consultations among interested parties, but this seems increasingly unlikely to block the process. A green light from Brussels would also allow O2 and T-Mobile to link up their networks in Germany.

By sharing network capacity operators could save around a third of the cost of in setting up 3G networks, the FT estimates. As well as saving cash-strapped telcos huge amounts of money, sharing network capacity minimises the need to erect further mobile phone mast, increasingly seen as eyesores and viewed by some as a possible heath risk.

O2 spokesman Simon Gordon said the network sharing arrangement is expected to save the two operators £1.2 billion in capital expenditure over the next ten years. By working together on linking up their networks, both O2 and T-Mobile will enjoy greater coverage when services launch, he added.

The Commission's decision on the O2-T-Mobile deal is expected to act as a blueprint for future co-operation in sharing network costs.

In the UK, O2 and T-Mobile are proposing to share urban base station sites. The countryside will be split into various regions or territories where one or other of the operators will build and run a 3G network, which can be used by the other service provider.

The Germany arrangement is less specific about setting up territories.

Competitors, particularly in Germany, are expected to make some criticism of these arrangements and seek to obtain restrictions or guarantees on the deal from Brussels. Its also possible different telecoms policies from rival parties fighting the forthcoming German elections might have an effect.

These factors might modify the deal, but are most unlikely to break it, after the Commission gave its first indication this week that it intends to approve the 02/T-Mobile deal on some terms. ®

Related Stories

BT confirms 3G building contract with Deutsche Telekom
Hutchison signs 3G leasing deal with mmO2

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.