Ovum: LTE network sharing could become de facto format

Last week's announcement by Tele2 and Telenor in Sweden that they plan to jointly build and own a Long Term Evolution (LTE) network may become a trend for future LTE rollouts in Europe, notes research firm Ovum. The companies said they would form a 50-50 joint venture to roll out a nationwide LTE network in Sweden, sharing the network and the spectrum. The deal includes both the 2100 MHz and 900 MHz spectrum bands.

Ovum, also citing regulatory movements in France to push 3G network sharing, said network sharing offers a way for operators to swiftly roll out LTE, especially as they face uncertainty over cost and returns for the technology.

"There is bound to be greater call for new LTE networks as governments begin to incorporate mobile broadband in their e-society initiatives," wrote Ovum analyst Emeka Obiodu. "For operators wary of how they will fund their LTE network rollout, Telenor and Tele2 have thrown up a new alternative. Jointly building out the network lowers the costs and the risks for any individual operator, making the investment more attractive, especially in today's economic downturn. With the likes of Vodafone and Telefonica already on the network-sharing bandwagon, it is likely that a joint network build-out will become the de facto format for 4G."

For more:
- take a look at Ovum's web site

Related articles:
Vodafone/O2 network sharing to impact jobs and antenna sites
Active RAN sharing could save operators $60 billion
French regulator to push for 3G network sharing
Cost cutting drives UK operators into networking sharing

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