Ethical airwaves: Vodafone and Orange will share masts to improve coverage

20 February 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
The Vodafone and Orange mobile phone networks have revealed plans to start sharing mobile mast sites, benefiting mobile phone users by improving coverage, and helping the environment because it will mean a 15 per cent reduction in mast sites.

Today saw the two networks outline their visions to deliver better quality mobile coverage by making it more widely available to more people across the UK starting from 2008. The partnership will mean better reception for their customers, environmental benefits, and increased profitability for the networks.

They will both share existing 2G and 3G mast sites, with just one site housing both companies' equipment, whereas previous to this agreement this would have required two separate sites, making a reduction of 3,000 sites in total during the first two years. The plans will also mean that half of the UK population will be able to make calls, send messages, and use mobile internet facilities in more places than ever before.

Nick Read, CEO of Vodafone UK, added: "Last year we announced this industry leading initiative and today's announcement focuses on a significant mast sharing program that benefits our customers and the environment, while driving improved efficiencies for our business."

Vodafone and Orange have clarified that this does not signify nor imply a merger of the two networks, and confirmed that they remain competitors in the mobile phones market, but that working together will enable both companies to invest further in developing innovative products and services for their customers.

Tom Alexander, CEO of Orange UK, said: "This deal will see our two companies work together to ensure our customers benefit from better, deeper and faster mobile coverage in more places, with fewer mast-sites across the country. It will be better for our customers, better for our businesses and better for the environment."

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