Mobile firms ink joint agreement

Mobile firms ink joint agreement

Faster mobile access beckons in 2008 following T-Mobile and 3 agreement

Mobile operators T-Mobile and 3 have signed an agreement which they hope will enable the creation of Britain's largest 3G network, giving significantly increased mobile broadband coverage to users by the end of 2008.

T-Mobile's and 3's core networks will not be shared, but the masts and 3G access networks will, with both partners retaining responsibility for service delivery using their own radiofrequencies.

In a statement, Ovum's wireless research director Martin Garner said that network sharing had the potential to change the economic model for operators and give better high-speed mobile access. "Shared opex and capex considerably improves the economics and enables a more practical route to better network coverage, and in particular in-building coverage," added Garner.

A 50:50 joint venture company called 'Mobile Broadband Network Limited' has been created to run the joint network operations, which also plans to " decommission over 5,000 duplicate sites from both parties’ combined existing cell site portfolio." T-Mobile and 3 said that this will "result in significant savings in rent, transmission and other cell site operating costs," estimated at £2bn over 10 years.