Vodafone and 3 have confirmed a deal to share physical infrastructure for their operations in Ireland.
Computer Weekly first revealed the deal was on the table two weeks ago when a source close to the situation told us the talks were “in the late stages”.
This weekend the operators made it public though, stating the partnership would see a 50/50 joint venture to manage the infrastructure over 2,000 sites, while the “intelligent” parts of their networks – namely radio equipment and spectrum – will remain in each individual company’s control.
“Securing future investment for technologies in a competitive market is critical to maintaining a sustainable business,” said Jeroen Hoencamp, CEO of Vodafone Ireland.
“We believe this partnership will place Vodafone in a stronger position to commit to future investment in our network, and the products and services we provide to customers,” he said.
Robert Finnegan, CEO of 3, added: “Around the world, operators are adopting a network sharing and consolidation strategy that delivers cost efficiencies and rapid network expansion with the roll-out of new technologies such as LTE, while still competing fiercely on customer service and acquisition.
“As a result of this agreement we expect to be able to deliver the latest technologies to our customers faster than ever before.”
The process will take time, but both companies said the new project should be up and running by the autumn. It will be made up of 80 employees coming from both Vodafone and 3, but an independent managing director will take charge and a new management board will also be appointed.
Vodafone recently signed a similar deal with O2 in the UK so both firms could split the cost of managing their physical infrastructure but be able to pump more investment into their own development of mobile technologies.