December 18, 2015
T-Mobile and rival operator, 3, are planning to share phone masts in order to extend high-speed wireless broadband further across the country.
The mast-sharing agreement, which is believed to cover 3G access networks, would significantly reduce the costs involved for both companies, in providing comprehensive network coverage.
The deal would bring 3G services to all the UK population by the end of next year. However, it will require approval by communications regulator, Ofcom.
Both 3 and T-Mobile have introduced high-speed 3G networks, and although 3’s network is one of the largest in the UK, it still covers only around 90% of the population.
3 and T-Mobile have both, independently of each other, outsourced part of the management of their backbone networks to Ericsson.
The agreement to pool masts has led to speculation that T-Mobile could be planning to launch a bid for 3, which is the Britain’s newest and smallest network.
This would be in line with a preference expressed by T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, for consolidation in the mobile marketplace.
T-Mobile recently entered into a takeover bid for O2 but was beaten by Telefónica.