FT Orange, Deutsche Telekom mull network sharing deal

Two of Europe's largest operators, France Telecom Orange and Deutsche Telekom (DT), have agreed to investigate sharing their radio access networks across the continent as part of a wider cooperation deal.

The two firms, which joinly own the UK operator Everythigng Everywhere, said they will start by working to build a better M2M infrastructure to improve the quality of service and standards for cross-border communication. The deal will initially cover the two companies' networks in France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg, but with the idea to expand the agreement to include other operators around the world.

It is thought that this move could see an acceleration in the deployment of e-energy, e-health, connected home and connected car services across Europe. The second project will involve Wi-Fi which will target the improvement of roaming services on each others' networks.

"Operators are expected to increase quality of service and to eliminate barriers and borders when using services," Ed Kozel, CTO and innovation officer for DT, said in a statement "We are confident that the cooperation with France Telecom Orange in dedicated areas will enable both of us to bring sustained benefits to our customers."

Both operators have also said they will conduct exploratory talks to understand the potential to create value in a number of other areas. Without being specific, this would include the mobile and fixed elements of their networks with a focus on improving service quality and ease of use for their customers.

Commenting on the joint agreement, Elie Girard, VP of strategy and development with FT Orange, said in a statement,"With this collaboration, our two groups will be able to address new growth opportunities as well as operational efficiency issues in a limited and targeted set of business domains for the benefits of our respective customers, while maintaining our individual strategies."

For more:
- see this release
- see this Reuters article
- see this Cellular News article
- see this Telecompaper article (sub. req.)

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