Telefónica UK and Vodafone UK today announced that they are pooling the basic parts of their network infrastructure to create one national grid of 18,500 sites running each operator’s independent spectrum. The plan will results in delivering benefits for mobile phone users offering indoor 2G and 3G coverage targeting 98% of the UK population by 2015, with an aim of delivering mobile coverage and mobile internet services to the vast majority of UK households.
O2′s press release states:
A new 50/50 joint venture company will be created through the consolidation of both Telefónica UK and Vodafone UK’s existing basic network infrastructure, including towers and masts, which will be transferred to the joint venture or decommissioned over time.
Under the proposals, both companies will have access to a single grid of 18,500 masts representing an increase in sites of more than 40% for each operator. The joint venture will also be responsible for the building of new sites needed to extend coverage into rural and remote areas.