Australian operators Telstra and Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) will terminate their network sharing joint venture in 2012.
The operators will split assets from the 2100MHz shared network - known as the 3GIS network - and incorporate them into their own infrastructure, Telstra said.
Marketing chief Kate McKenzie explained there was little point in continuing to invest in the joint venture, when “the coverage, speeds and services available on the Telstra Next G network are superior.”
A Vodafone spokesperson said that network assets will be split roughly 50:50.
Telstra and Vodafone Australia entered into the venture in 2004, before Telstra built its Next G 3G network on the 850MHz band, and prior to Vodafone's merger with Hutchison Australia to form VHA.
The split is tentatively scheduled for August 31 2012, but may be brought forward to January 1 of that year if certain conditions are met.
“We will encourage customers using the earlier 2100MHz network to upgrade their handsets before 2012,” McKenzie added.
Telstra said the move would improve its ebitda by more than A$50 million (€35.2) per year from FY14-FY17, and should not accrue any asset impairment as the infrastructure will still be used.
VHA said it would add 1,400 new sites to its existing 3G network, in addition to those it will pick up from the network split.