Orange Romania and Vodafone Romania have signed a network-sharing deal that will allow them to deploy LTE more quickly as well as expand wireless coverage into rural areas. Although the two firms will share networks, they will operate independently and still compete against each other for customers.
Vodafone Romania and Orange Romania said that each of their networks will use independent spectrum and that the companies will have different core networks, allowing them to operate separately and offer differentiated services. Orange is the top operator in the country by subscribers and revenue and Vodafone is No. 2.
However, the companies also said that they will have access to a "common grid of sites which will eliminate the unnecessary duplication of the network and will bring significant environmental benefits," according to a joint statement issued by the two companies.
Network-sharing has gained momentum in Europe as operators struggle to handle investment costs associated with deploying LTE. Eduardo Duato, CTO of Orange Spain, told Mobile Europe last year that operators should move ahead and share active RAN and backhaul networks in order to reduce their costs. The Orange executive said that using this approach on a 50-50 basis could see each operator saving 25 per cent of the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the LTE network.
- see this MarketWatch article
Orange exec: Network sharing only option for LTE operators
Rumour Mill: SFR, Bouygues Telecom mull network sharing deal
KPN open to network sharing deal for emergency use
TeliaSonera and Telenor given OK for network sharing JV
T-Mobile, Orange ink Polish network-sharing deal
Orange, Vodafone among five to submit bids for Romanian spectrum