T-Mobile, Orange ink Polish network-sharing deal

Deutsche Telekom (DT) and France Telecom (FT) Orange have taken another step towards greater co-operation by agreeing to share their Polish networks. The deal will see Orange's PTK Centertel, Poland's largest mobile operator, and T-Mobile's Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa share access to each others networks via a 50:50 joint venture labelled "NetWorks!."

According to Reuters, PTK Centertel says the network sharing deal is expected to save around €356 million in cash flow through 2015.

The aim is for NetWorkS! to assume responsibility for the management, planning, support, development and maintenance of the two networks, together with reducing the number of base stations to a total of 10,000. Presently, Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa has around 7,000 installed, and PTK Centertel has 6,400.

The deal will see the combined radio access network upgraded in the short-term to support the latest standards, leading to an estimated 29 per cent savings in total RAN investments over the longer term. However, the integration of the networks will not be complete until 2014, although the two operators claim that some regions will start to see the first positive effects of the deal in the first half of 2012.

The agreement, which is set to run for 15 years, will be limited to the sharing technical elements of the networks, with both operators continuing to own the networks and licenced spectrum. The sales operations of both companies will continue to compete in the wholesale and retail market within Poland.

For more:
- see this release
- see this Reuters article

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