Ericsson said it will remain the provider of managed services to Mobile Broadband Network Ltd (MBNL), an infrastructure joint venture between EE and Three UK, for a further three years and noted that its contract has been expanded to also cover design, planning and deployment services.
Under the new agreement, Ericsson will continue to handle delivery of central operations and transmission, network performance and optimisation, field services and multi-vendor spare parts management services. The infrastructure company said the renewed deal is more outcome-based and customer centric, and provides clear accountability, increased agility in terms of launching new services, and price predictability.
The terms added to the agreement will see Ericsson also adopt new practices in terms of designing, planning and deploying MBNL's radio access networks.
In a statement, Ericsson said the new deal will offer better support for coverage and capacity upgrades for MBNL, EE and Three UK, while also improving the process of activating new sites for the operator's respective customers. The infrastructure company's broader focus will also minimise disruption caused by future network upgrades, it stated.
MBNL managing director Pat Coxen said the new contract means that EE and Three UK customers "will benefit from seamless coverage and capacity upgrades, and networks that are optimised and managed with minimal impact."
EE and Three UK established MBNL in 2007 in what the joint venture stated was a "ground breaking network consolidation agreement." The company was set up to deliver cost savings to the operators through sharing RAN deployment costs, primarily related to 3G infrastructure.
In February 2014, EE confirmed that the partners had extended the remit of MBNL to cover their respective LTE rollouts, in a statement emailed to FierceWireless:Europe.
At the time, the operator said that the expanded MBNL deal was part of a £1.5 billion (€2 billion/$2.2 billion) three-year investment "to significantly differentiate the EE network in terms of the people we connect and the experience they receive."
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