T-Mobile and 3UK are on-track to complete Europe’s largest shared 3G network by end 2010, according to network supplier Nokia Siemens Networks.
The HSDPA network aims to offer the best outdoor 3G coverage in the UK, with 98% of the population due to be covered by December 31, compared to 90% at present.
Construction of the network began late 2007, when T-Mobile and 3UK established Mobile Broadband Network Ltd (MBNL), a 50:50 joint venture company.
That firm has already consolidated 7,000 out of 12,500 cell sites that will be combined to form the new network. Some 3,000 sites will be switched off once build-out is complete.
Nokia Siemens Networks has already begun delivering 3G radio network infrastructure to MBNL, as part of a £400 million (€456 million) contract from T-Mobile and 3UK that also covers network planning, implementation, optimisation, and maintenance.