Given the continuing guesswork surrounding European network sharing, for Vodafone and Orange to both announce significant network outsourcing deals on the same day will only boost the speculation.
Orange handed two deals to Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) for it to manage its infrastructure resources in the UK and Spain for a five-year term. The contract calls for NSN to handle Orange's fixed and mobile networks with the objective of improving their efficiency and reliability. Orange staff will transfer across to NSN in the next few months.
Regarding Vodafone's outsourcing, the company struck a seven-year maintenance and operations deal with Ericsson for its UK-wide 2G and 3G networks that will see around 350 Vodafone employees move across to Ericsson in May. Commenting on the contract award, Vodafone UK's CTO, Jeni Mundy, said the company saw this as a strategic long-term relationship offering real operational and financial benefits. "This will allow us, over time, to reinvest savings in delivering new products and services for customers. Ericsson is the specialist in this area and will be critical in helping maintain our high quality network."
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