Vodafone, Telefónica cleared to share UK networks

The UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) approved plans by by Vodafone and Telefónica's O2 UK to share their network infrastructure.

The deal, which was positioned by the two operators as providing consumers with improvements to coverage and data network performance, was initially referred in June to the OFT because of the possible effects it might have on competition.

The proposed network sharing deal could have been passed to the European Union for judgment, but the OFT decided it could rule on the plan, and told IBTimes it saw "no substantial lessening of competition" as a result of the deal.

The agreement between Vodafone and Telefónica, said to generate saving of over £430, according to the OFT, will see both operators continue to run independent and competitive services over a shared network, reports to IBTimes.

Telefónica will take responsibility for the shared network installed across the eastern half of the UK, while Vodafone will be responsible for the joint network in the western half of the country, as each operator increases their site bases by 4 per cent, reports Business Daily.

The sharing of the network between Vodafone and O2 UK has gained in importance given the changes that have taken place in the LTE landscape since the agreement was made public. EE, formerly Everything Everywhere, expects to launch LTE service on its 1800 MHz spectrum by year-end, ahead of Vodafone and O2.

For more:
- see this IBTimes article
- see this Business Daily article

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