Monday, 23 March 2009

Vodafone/Telefonica network sharing is go...

The big news this morning is obviously the agreement between Vodafone and Telefonica for pan-European network sharing. Vodafone press release here. As discussed on a blog not a million miles from here there are some powerful arguments for network sharing in times of economic hardship.

Initially this is a site-sharing deal, with a joint approach to rolling out new sites as well as consolidating existing ones. The implications of this arrangement for service differentiation are fairly modest initially. While BTS location obviously has an impact on user experience, we're still a long way from having a single shared network. There is no commitment to RAN sharing or backhaul. However, the joint press release promises that "further areas of co-operation are actively being explored on a market by market basis, such as sharing of transmission infrastructure, among others".