Vodafone and O2 infrastructure sharing alliance approved by OFT

2G, 3G and probably 4G sharing

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The Office of Fair Trading has given Vodafone and O2 the green light to press on with plans to share mobile infrastructure.

The accord, which the two companies announced back in June, will allow them access to a combined total of 18,500 base station locations around the UK, which is a 40 per cent increase for both networks.

Consumers will see the 2G and 3G coverage improve on networks and it'll also enable the rivals to deploy their 4G networks more quickly and efficiently. That's good news for everyone concerned.

Despite the arrangement being similar to the one that brought Orange and T-Mobile together as Everything Everywhere, there's no chance of another merger.

Taking the fight to EE

Both networks will remain as totally separate entities, continue to operate on different radio frequencies and position themselves as big competitors in the UK.

O2 and Vodafone already share air conditioning and power suppliers at some sites in the UK as part of the ongoing Cornerstone project, and this agreement is simply an extension of that.

However, their desire to share 4G infrastructure following the spectrum auction next year will position both companies to take on the EE super-network, which already has 4G LTE connectivity in place.

Via Register