3 UK launches 10,000th cell site

Mobile operators continue to feel the pain from explosive growth in data demand, prompting network expansion to boost capacity. On Wednesday, UK operator 3 activated its 10,000th cell site and announced its intention to switch on 3,000 more over the course of 2010.

The 10,000th site was connected in Shooters Hill, London, bringing 3G population coverage to nearly 93 per cent.

Alongside the network expansion, Graham Baxter, CTO of 3 UK said the operator is rolling out a consumer policy designed to better advise customers of their coverage opportunities and resolve issues if customers find they do not have coverage at home.

3 UK is in the process of consolidating its 3G network infrastructure with T-Mobile through the Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL) joint venture.

When it was announced in 2007, the 50:50 joint venture signalled the world’s largest known active 3G network sharing agreement to date. Under the agreement, masts and the 3G access networks are being combined, but each company’s core network and T-Mobile’s 2G network will not be shared. Both parties retain responsibility for the delivery of services to their respective customers and use their own spectrum. MBNL was given the aim of making 13,000 combined base station deployments, and around 7,000 are currently in operation.

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