O2 and Vodafone – two of the UK’s biggest mobile network providers – have always been the biggest of rivals. It’s all in the colours really, isn’t it? Like Chelsea vs Arsenal and Liverpool vs Everton, there is Vodafone vs O2.
Now, however, it seems that the two mobile giants are willing to come to terms on a network-sharing deal, which means that the two networks will ‘pool’ each other’s resources to create ‘one national grid running each operator’s independent spectrum.’
While this won’t allow mobile users on either network to ‘roam’ on the other one’s phone masts, it will improve the 3G – and eventually 4G – coverage of the two networks. Thanks to this, they are aiming to provide 2G and 3G networks for 98% of the population by 2015, and have 98% of the country covered by 4G by 2017. Not bad at all.
The move could be seen as something of a reaction to the Everything Everywhere alliance formed between T-Mobile and Orange, which has effectively integrated the two networks so that customers have seamlessly use the other network’s mobile resources.
We should also welcome such joint ventures, as they could result in our networks being ready for 4G sooner than first anticipated.