T-Mobile, 3 UK combine 3G networks

Two mobile phone companies in the United Kingdom, T-Mobile UK and 3 UK, have begun to combine their wireless infrastructure to build a 3G wireless network more quickly and at less cost than either could do on its own, a CommwebNews.com report said.
The effort will save each GSM service provider more than $1 billion, the CommwebNews.com report said.

The agreement, which is slated to provide national 3G coverage in 2009, will offer a variety of improvements, ranging from the elimination of 5,000 antennas to a rapid deployment of high-speed HSDPA network technology, the report added.

Mobile phone companies around the world are moving to open up their networks and to collaborate in developing wireless infrastructure.  

T-Mobile, a unit of Deutsche Telekom, operates the largest wireless network in Germany and the fourth-largest network in the US. Hong Kong-based Hutchison Wampoa owns 3 UK, which operates mobile phone networks in several countries.  

Although the companies made no mention of any additional collaborative deals, the UK combo will provide them with cooperative experience for future deployments, the report said.

HSDPA is a likely infrastructure candidate for most existing mobile phone networks because it's compatible with existing W-CDMA and EDGE wireless technologies, which are built on the European-developed GSM wireless standard.

The two companies said their shared network should be finished in slightly over two years and will cover the United Kingdom with 3G mobile broadband service, the report also said.