UK operators adopt managed networks approach

The World’s Biggest Operator by Revenues, Vodafone, put paid to rumours of a network sharing agreement with fellow UK carrier O2 on Wednesday, by announcing a managed services contract with Ericsson.

The pair announced a seven year deal, which will see Ericsson provide maintenance and operations for Vodafone UK’s 2G and 3G radio access networks. The contract includes the transfer of approximately 350 employees from Vodafone to Ericsson, scheduled for the beginning of May.

Over the past couple of weeks, rumours have been floating around that Vodafone was preparing to sign a network sharing agreement with O2, which some believe is linked to regulator Ofcom’s plans to refarm some of the 900MHz spectrum in the UK.

In related news, Orange UK has tapped up Nokia Siemens Networks to manage its mobile network operations in the UK.

Under the contract, NSN will manage, plan, expand, optimize and provide maintenance services for the Orange UK 2G/3G mobile network for the next five years.

As part of the mobile network operations outsourcing, close to 470 staff are planned to transfer from Orange UK with approximately 230 joining Nokia Siemens Networks and the remainder being transferred to a first line maintenance sub-contractor.

A similar deal has also been struck between Orange Spain and NSN this week.

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