Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL) has awarded Ericsson a four year, managed services contract for the operation and maintenance of its consolidated network. MBNL is the 50:50 joint venture formed by 3UK and T-Mobile UK to manage the integration of both operators' 3G radio access networks (RAN),
T-Mobile and 3 formed their infrastructure sharing agreement in January 2008 with the aim of creating the UK's most extensive 3G network by 2010. This network collaboration is designed to provide almost complete population coverage for 3G services and improve in-building signal strength. The agreement will also deliver cost savings as well as environmental benefits, including the decommissioning of an estimated 5,000 cell sites.
Under the terms of the agreement, Ericsson has responsibility for the operation and performance management of both parent companies' 3G networks and T-Mobile's 2G RAN infrastructure. The four year contract will enable MBNL to control operational expenses and deliver high service levels at a time when the 3G network consolidation is moving into the mass deployment phase.
The contract with Ericsson is the latest of a number of key supplier agreements awarded by MBNL in recent months for the provision of 3G radio network infrastructure and a five-year managed service contract for the supply of high-speed Ethernet connections to 7,500 cell sites.