Vodafone and O2 have had a network sharing agreement for some time now, but it has recently been announced on O2's news page that the two companies are planning on extending their agreement further to benefit their customers when it comes to 5G. They have entered a non-binding agreement (intended to strengthen their existing partnership) with the aim to extend the existing network over a wider geographic area with more benefits. Here is what Vodafone and O2 plan to do through this partnership:
They plan to achieve these aims through joint radio network sites, which will enable both companies to deploy 5G faster, as we all as enabling them to cover a wider geographic area (reach more customers) at a lower cost. The two companies also plan to deploy their own seperate radio equipment in around 2,500 areas (representing around 15% of areas outside of London), which they hope will give them greater flexibility when it comes to their customer's needs. Vodafone and O2 are also planning to upgrade their transmission networks with higher capacity optical fibre cables, which should enable customers to benefit from 5G such as low latency.
The original agreement between the companies is known as CTIL, which was established in 2012 in the aim to bring together the basic aspects of O2's and Vodafone's network infrastructure. With this in mind, the plan is to devolve further responsibility to CTIL, essentially enhancing its role in this operation.
Mark Evans, CEO, Telefonica UK (O2), said: "I'm excited by the potential of these plans to meet the future needs of our customers while delivering value of our business. In addition, these plans would allow us to utilise the spectrum we acquired in the last auction very effectively."
Nick Jeffery, CEO Vodafone UK, said: "We believe that these plans will generate significant benefits for our business and our customers as we move into the digital era of connected devices, appliances and systems on a mass scale. Customers will benefit from the best 5G experience available and we will deliver even faster speeds by using our spectrum holding more effectively."