Major infrastructure vendors have been invited by Cornerstone, the network sharing joint venture established by O2 and Vodafone, to make proposals that could lead to Cornerstone's base stations, network upgrades and maintenance work being outsourced, according to a report in Mobile Today.
According to the report, which cited unnamed sources, Cornerstone has sent requests for proposals (RFPs) to leading equipment suppliers, including Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks, to see how these firms might improve the operation of Cornerstone's business.
The report said that the RFP will to be followed by a request for quotations that will likely include network design and deployment, the acquisition and building of sites, capacity management, upgrades and the transfer of Cornerstone employees to the chosen outsource provider.
This change in strategy, thought to have been instigated by Kevin Millroy, who was appointed to lead Cornerstone last October, has triggered speculation that O2 and Vodafone might use this opportunity to expand the JV into a full network sharing partnership.
3UK and T-Mobile UK have a full network sharing agreement in operation via the JV MBNL, which is run by Ericsson under an outsourced managed services contract.
A spokeswoman for Cornerstone told Mobile Today: "Cornerstone was established to deliver efficiencies through the sharing of network assets, both in terms of environmental impact and the cost of rolling out infrastructure. We continue to explore all opportunities available to us in order to meet our ambitious and exciting network rollout targets, which includes approaching the wider industry to challenge us on the build possibilities."
- see this Mobile Today article
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