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Vodafone, Orange to share 3G networks

UK operators Vodafone and Orange on Thursday announced an agreement to share their 3G Radio Access Networks (RANs).

The project outlines plans for the two networks to be combined over a number of years and covers both existing and new buildouts of their 3G networks.

Regarding 2G, the companies will continue to explore opportunities for sharing as technical solutions become available.

The deal will allow Vodafone and Orange to remain competitors in the wholesale and retail markets by allowing them to continue managing their own traffic, services and quality of service independently.

The companies anticipate long term shared efficiencies through jointly managing and maintaining the RANs, as well as the future roll out of networks.

By combining their infrastructure, the long term intention is to reduce the total number of masts needed in the future, delivering a smaller environmental footprint as well as an expanded coverage area.

This also means reduced capital and operating expenditure arising from the fewer number of sites required.

Orange and Vodafone are currently in discussions regarding the creation of an appropriate vehicle to manage, maintain and build the radio access network for both companies.

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