Vodafone and O2 CTI Cornerstone partnership set to agree site leasing strategy

Back in June, Vodafone and O2′s parent company Telefonica announced a plan to join forces to share the cost and benefits of building a more extensive wireless network in the UK.

The plan was subject to approval, and last month Ofcom gave the two companies the go ahead. While O2 and Vodafone’s joint venture sounds similar to Everything Everywhere and Three’s setup, it’s nowhere near as deep. The two rivals are committed to remaining separate, and the deal only refers to network infrastructure. A new company has been created to look after the joint network, and it has been named Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure, or CTI. Registered to Vodafone’s HQ in Newbury, Berkshire an announcement is expected imminently of how the new CTI company will structure its site leases and licences, with cost cutting being a major focus.

It’s EE’s leap forward regarding 4G coverage in the UK that has accelerated the network sharing. By working together, they can improve their existing networks, as well as push 4G LTE out faster than they would on their own.

That’ll have to wait until Ofcom’s spectrum auction which is scheduled for early 2013.

“This is an important move in the mobile phone mast lettings market” cell:cm Chartered Surveyors Director Philip Morris commented. Site providers should look out for any contact from Vodafone, O2, CTI or their agents and  get in touch with the specialist telecoms surveyors at Cell:cm if they receive anything.

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