It has just been announced that two of the biggest mobile network operators here in the UK will be teaming up and sharing new and existing infrastructure to offer their customers next generation super-fast 4G services.
Vodafone and O2’s owner Telefonica have said that the move is to improve on existing coverage offered by both networks, as well as speeding up the process of implementing the new 4G technology. The new 4G mobile services will be able to offer customers super-fast downloads of music and video directly to their smartphones, tablets and laptops, and the partnership means that it can be delivered by 2015. If this date is achieved, it will be two years ahead of Ofcom’s target of having 98% coverage by 2017.
Guy Laurence, chief executive of Vodafone in the UK said: “This partnership will close the digital divide for millions of people across the country and power the next phase of the smartphone revolution.”
Obviously as well as being able to offer their customers fast internet access, it also benefits both networks financially. After all, by becoming partners it allows Vodafone and O2 to keep down operational costs – especially at a time with consumer spending is fairly weak.
As you’ll probably be aware, a similar deal was announced not too long ago when Orange and T-mobile merged to become Everything Everywhere. Although, just to be clear this is not a merger and both Vodafone and O2 will still be very much in competition with each other.
Jeremy Green, principal analyst at Ovum said that “If Vodafone and Telefonica had not also embraced sharing in this way they would have been at a competitive disadvantage. As it was, they were able to build on and extend the relationship that they already had through Cornerstone, their existing joint venture. This sets them up well for the 4G roll-out and will help them catch up on 2G and 3G roll-out too”.