The i's are dotted and the t's crossed...
Today Telefonica (O2 in the UK) and Vodafone have gone public to confirm what we learnt at the beginning of the month: they've embarked upon a network mast sharing deal. More impressive however is the scope. The duo will be playing nice together not just in the UK but also Germany, Spain and Ireland while negotiations are ongoing with regards to an agreement in the Czech Republic.
The 'milestone' collaboration should see both 2G and 3G reception increase significantly "in the longer term", reduce the number of unsightly masts from duplication and - notably - generate "cost savings amounting to hundreds of millions of euros for both companies over the next 10 years." ...of which a significant proportion will be passed onto customers - right guys?
"This industry-leading collaboration means that Telefónica and Vodafone will continue to compete strongly against each other in local markets, while giving our customers enhanced mobile coverage in more places, using fewer mast sites," said Telefonica CEO Matthew Key.
"This move will enable us to focus our resources on developing more innovative and market leading services while delivering on our pledge to reduce the environmental impact of our network roll out," added Vodafone Europe CEO Michel Combes.
All this sounds fine and dandy but we'd like a little more information than "in the long term" references. Some of us need better signal NOW...