Vodafone and Orange have signed a new mobile and fixed network sharing agreement in Spain, with the main aim of enabling a faster deployment of 5G over a wider geographic area, Vodafone said in a release.
Under the terms of the agreement,
Vodafone will be able to offer its customers broadband access and other fixed
services on Orange’s fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network. Both operators have also
agreed to explore potential co-investment opportunities to expand their fiber
footprint in the future.
Nick Read, CEO of Vodafone, said, that Vodafone is “committed to deliver the best gigabit networks. As we approach a 5G world, we have a window of opportunity to design networks with other operators who share our passion for quality and coverage. These network sharing agreements mean we can provide a better service to customers, help us to address coverage requirements faster and more efficiently and also reduce the industry’s environmental impact.”
The original network sharing agreement with Orange, covering passive infrastructure nationwide and active infrastructure in smaller towns, was signed in 2006 and was subsequently renewed in 2012 and in 2016. This new agreement expands the scope of the partnership to include 5G.
The terms of the new agreement allow active network sharing (including both the radio access network and high-speed backhaul) in cities with populations of up to 175,000 people, whereas the previous arrangement only enabled sharing in towns of between 1,000 and 25,000 people. Two-thirds of the Spanish population will now be covered by Vodafone and Orange’s shared network agreement, with 14,800 sites expected to be shared compared to 5,600 sites shared today. The new deal is expected to deliver cumulative opex and capex savings to Vodafone of at least EUR 600 million ($667 million) over the next ten years.
Vodafone and Orange will continue to operate independent infrastructure
in the biggest cities. Both companies will retain separate management of their
spectrum rights, the management of their network performance, the control and
functionality of their respective core networks, as well as the development of
new products and services.
Earlier this year, Vodafone Spain confirmed plans to launch commercial 5G services in the European country in 2020.
The telco also said that it expected to end the first
quarter of the year with 85-100 5G base stations installed in the cities
of Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Valencia, Bilbao and Malaga.
The operator said that it has reached commercial agreements with Samsung, Huawei, LG and Xiaomi to offers 5G smartphones once commercially available.
In July 2018, Vodafone Spain started to
deploy its 5G network in these six cities with the deployment of a limited
number of 5G nodes.
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