LONDON In a wide-ranging cost cutting deal that will have major implications for their equipment suppliers, and further down the chain for many component suppliers, Vodafone and Telefonica have confirmed they will pool their mobile networks in the U.K and said that the deal covers several other European countries.
EETimes Europe reported earlier this month that it could be all change for the network infrastructure sharing deals amongst U.K. mobile operators , with O2 and Vodafone said to be in advanced talks about such a deal.
Vodafone and Telefonica which operates in the U.K. as 02 said Monday (March 23) their "milestone" collaboration to share network infrastructure will initially cover the U.K., Germany, Spain and Ireland, with discussions still ongoing in the Czech Republic.
Vodafone and Telefónica already share some mobile sites in Spain, and are looking to expand the arrangements under the new deal.
The deal is expected to deliver cost savings of hundreds of millions of Euros for each company over the next decade – which, the operators suggest, should lead to cheaper calls and internet services for customers.
The mobile network operators said they are exploring further savings in related areas and that the deal should lead to faster roll-out of mobile broadband.
The joint building of new sites and pooling of existing 2G and 3G masts and equipment will lead to a "significant" reduction in the total number of masts, reducing environmental impact, the companies said.
A Vodafone spokesman said "several thousand" base stations will be shared, resulting in less power being used.