3 & T-Mobile Share 3G in the UK

3 & T-Mobile are the latest UK operators to strike up a 3G RAN sharing deal

Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

December 18, 2007

2 Min Read
3 & T-Mobile Share 3G in the UK

As expected, U.K. 3G operator Three UK has inked an HSPDA network sharing deal with T-Mobile (UK) . (See T-Mobile to Bid for 3?)

The operators have set up a joint venture, called Mobile Broadband Network Ltd., to manage the shared networks. The pair are working toward near complete 3G coverage of the U.K. in 2008. HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) is a 3G evolution of the GSM that typically offers wireless data transfers at up to a couple of megabits a second.

The firms say that they will save up to $4 billion over 10 years. Although masts and the 3G access networks are being combined, each company's core network and T-Mobile's 2G network will not be shared.

Analysts at Ovum Ltd. say that the deal could also have environmental as well as cost benefits. And Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) is expected to gain on the infrastructure side.

"A beneficiary of this deal is Ericsson, which manages 3 UK's network and some of T-Mobile's network functions," writes Ovum's Martin Taylor. "It will continue in those roles for the new venture, but will be required to produce greater efficiencies for having a combined network. Contracts for future expansions and services will be handled by the venture.”

Orange UK and Vodafone UK have already inked a 3G sharing deal. (See Vodafone & Orange Share 3G.)

Taylor says that this means that Telefónica UK Ltd. is the only major U.K. operator with a RAN sharing deal in place:

"One question mark exists for O2, the only one of the UK operators now not in a network sharing deal. T-Mobile and 3 UK have said that there could be further savings and benefits if a 3rd partner joined the venture and that, after a set-up period, the door will be open for discussions.”

O2 has made no official comment on the prospects of such a deal.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like