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Vodafone, KPN to share cell sites in Netherlands

The Qeo software framework will allow connected devices, regardless of brand or ecosystem, to “speak the same language”

Mobile operator Vodafone struck another infrastructure sharing deal this week, this time in the Netherlands where its local operation will share passive infrastructure with KPN.

Under a pilot agreement, KPN and Vodafone Netherlands plan to share mobile tower sites from September, but only in limited areas. The operators want to get some idea of whether the move could lead to lower network costs and better coverage.

The trial will run for several months with the companies planning to re-evaluate the deal towards the end of the year.

In related news, Vodafone Ireland officially announced its network sharing contract with 3. As reported previously on telecoms.com, Vodafone Ireland and Three Ireland are creating a 50/50 joint venture company to share their physical network and site infrastructure at approximately 2,000 locations across the country. Both companies will continue to run the ‘intelligent’ elements of the network separately, including their core network capabilities and service platforms, as well as manage their own radio equipment and spectrum independently.

The joint venture will also be responsible for maintenance, on-going operational service and associated equipment. Benefits to Vodafone Ireland and Three Ireland include the ability to purchase network infrastructure equipment together to reduce costs, increasing the number of sites connected to a fibre backhaul network and the opportunity to expand mobile network coverage for customers.

Robert Finnegan, CEO of Three Ireland, said: “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, whilst still competing fiercely on customer service and acquisition. Today’s announcement is significant for Irish consumers – jointly we’re creating the largest physical network in Ireland with the best network quality and service. As a result of this agreement we expect to be able to deliver the latest technologies to our customers faster than ever before. This new joint venture combines the best of both networks and will be the smart choice for the savvy mobile customer.”

The new company is expected to be fully operational from the Autumn and will be headquartered in Dublin.


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