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Orange, T-Mobile to share Polish network

Network sharing is the only way forward for European operators, the CTO says

Orange’s Polish operation, PTK Centertel, and T-Mobile’s PolskaTelefoniaCyfrowa this week signed an agreement to share their radio access networks. The network will be managed by a new joint venture called NetWorkS! owned 50-50 by the two operators and responsible for the management, planning, support, development and maintenance.

The contract is set over a term of 15 years and is limited to technical aspects in the RAN. Orange and T-Mobile will remain respective owners of their core networks and frequencies. But through the venture, the operators will be able to eliminate duplicate basestations, serving both customer bases from a total of 10,000 installations. At present PTC has around 7,000 and PTK around 6,400.

Due to the scale of the undertaking, the implementation of the new network will take place gradually until 2014, with the first positive effects to be visible in selected regions of the country in the first half of 2012.

The most significant benefits are related to short-term acceleration of the modernisation of the entire RAN network to the most modern technology, with upfront investment in the first three years allowing the carriers to save up to 29 per cent of the total RAN cost on a longer-term basis.

“Joint management and extension of the network infrastructure of both operators will soon provide customers with tangible benefits, such as improved network coverage and network quality, as well as access to the latest technologies. Thanks to this co-operation each operator will be able to invest funds more effectively and to expand the network infrastructure faster,” said Miroslav Rakowski, CEO of PTC.

Orange is the country’s leading operator with 14.6 million subs at end-June, while T-Mobile is in a tie for second place with Polkomtel, both of which have over 13 million users.


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