The site-sharing agreement struck between T-Mobile and 3 UK seems to be gathering pace with around 5,000 cell sites identified for decommissioning. Both operators are planning to remove masts and transmitters as they begin to share resources, but it looks likely a small amount of new sites will be built as they take 3G into areas where coverage has been absent.
The two firms claim this site-sharing deal will give them the best 3G network in the UK, providing 98 per cent of the population with good 3G coverage. This claim could prove to be a valuable marketing tool for both firms, especially given that 02 recently admitted it had failed to meet its licence obligations regarding network deployment and coverage.
A similar deal between Vodafone and Orange to share networks remains stalled after the two companies failed to agree on the value of each other's infrastructure assets. Negotiations surrounding the sharing of transmitter sites has been seen as relatively simple in comparison to deciding how any agreement would work with respect to backhaul and core network components.
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