Vodafone, 3 agree to network share deal

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Vodafone confirmed yesterday it had agreed to share network infrastructure in Ireland with Hutchison Whampoa’s 3, marking the first such deal in the coun-try.

Vodafone and 3 will create a joint venture to share their physical network and site infrastructure at about 2,000 locations across Ireland.

A source said earlier this month that a joint venture between the operators would result in the biggest network in Ireland while producing “significant” cost sav- ings.

The deal follows a spate of similar agreements across Europe where operators are looking for ways to upgrade their networks at a time when customers are cutting back on spending.

Sharing infrastructure would enable the companies to expand coverage for customers, buy equipment together to reduce costs, and increase the number of sites connected to a high-speed fibre backhaul network, Vodafone said in a statement.

Both companies will continue to run their own radio equipment and spectrum independ- ently.

n Spanish mobile phone firms lost a quarter of a million clients in May, led by customers ditching the biggest players Telefonica and Vodafone after the two cut smartphone subsidies, the country’s telecoms regulator said.

The figures indicated a slowdown in client losses in crisis-hit Spain after a record 380,000 customers cancelled mobile phone lines in April, though Telefonica remained the firm facing the biggest exodus, with more than 200,000 lines dropped.