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O2 and Vodafone Moot Network Sharing Deal
By: MarkJ - 13 March, 2009 (8:40 AM)

Vodafone and O2 could announce a major new network sharing deal within weeks, The Guardian claims. The move would follow a similar and highly successful cost saving deal between T-Mobile and Three (3) last year.

It's understood that the plans could allow the operators to remove 51,000 of their existing base stations, which would no longer be needed due to duplication. This might lead to cheaper services and improved coverage, yet risks threatening competition.

Orange, which is currently partnered up with Vodafone, has reportedly also requested to join Three (3) and T-Mobile's existing network sharing scheme. This could potentially leave the UK with just two major networks, supplied through five operators.

Reports indicate that both the Competition Commission (CC) and Office of Fair Trading (OFT) are likely to cast a critical eye over the deal. However it would be difficult for them to act given that clearance has already been given for T-Mobile and Three (3) to do the same.

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