BT wins backhaul deal with T-Mobile, 3 UK

BT secured a deal to provide backhaul services to 3 UK and T-Mobile's consolidated 3G network, a Total Telecom report said.

The five-year managed services agreement will see the UK incumbent's next generation 21CN network connect 7,500 base station sites, enabling both T-Mobile and 3 to manage rising levels of mobile data traffic, the Total Telecom report said.

'Given the massive growth in the use of data on our network, the BT agreement brings us the scalability we will require in a critical element of the network consolidation,' said Graham Baxter, chief technology officer of 3 UK, in a statement.

T-Mobile and 3 announced their infrastructure sharing agreement back in January.

The 50:50 joint venture between the mobile operators aims to cover 98% of the country with an HSDPA network, capable of speeds of up to 7.2 megabits per second, by 2010.

Despite these objectives, the shared network means the number of operational base stations will fall by 5,000, leaving T-Mobile and 3 with a total of 13,000 sites between them.

'We are now moving ahead with the large consolidation of cell sites with the objective of achieving scale and integrating quickly and smoothly,' said Emin Gurdenli, technology director at T-Mobile UK, in a statement.

BT said that the migration of the mobile operators' common backhaul network to high-speed Ethernet technology will be in line with BT's 21CN roll-out programme.

Until then, the incumbent said it will continue to upgrade its leased line connections.