Thursday, April 15, 2010

T-Mobile and 3 UK Build Europe's Largest Shared 3G Network

T-Mobile UK and 3 UK are on course to complete their joint network infrastructure program by the end of 2010.


In December 2007, T-Mobile UK and 3 UK pooled their 3G network infrastructure in a 50:50 joint venture company, Mobile Broadband Network Ltd. (MBNL). The network sharing requires fewer masts, consumes less energy and provides customers with greater mobile broadband coverage.


MBNL has already consolidated more than 7,000 sites out of a total of over 12,500 T-Mobile UK and 3 UK mast sites due to be brought together by October this year. When completed, the integration program will also mean more than 3,000 redundant sites will have been switched off.


Reinforcing the network's capacity, a new contract worth over £400 million has been agreed between MBNL, on behalf of T-Mobile UK and 3 UK, and Nokia Siemens Networks. This will include the provision of 3G radio network infrastructure, mobile network planning, implementation, optimization and maintenance. The provision of equipment and services is already underway.
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  • Earlier this month, Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom completed their UK merger transaction, combining T-Mobile UK and Orange into the UK's leading mobile operator. It will have a combined mobile customer base of around 28.4 million, representing approximately 37 percent of UK mobile subscribers.


  • In November 2008, Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL), the 50:50 joint venture formed by 3UK and T-Mobile UK to manage the integration of both operators' 3G radio access networks (RAN), has awarded Ericsson a four-year managed services contract for the operation and maintenance of the consolidated network. Under the deal, Ericsson has responsibility for the operation and performance management of both parent companies' 3G networks and T-Mobile's 2G RAN infrastructure. Around 80 employees from T-Mobile were transferred to Ericsson.


  • In October 2008, BT announced a five-year managed network solutions agreement with T-Mobile and 3 UK, through their joint venture company, Mobile Broadband Network Ltd (MBNL). Specifically, BT will provide Ethernet backhaul connecting 7,500 base station sites on their consolidated 3G infrastructure. The network services contract supersedes the original contracts that BT had in place with both T-Mobile and 3 UK. BT's next-generation Ethernet service is currently being rolled out across the UK. The service will deliver improved access and backhaul service delivery to MBNL.


  • In August 2008, Nokia Siemens Networks announced that it had been selected as technology partner for Mobile Broadband Network Ltd. (MBNL), the network collaboration joint-venture between T-Mobile UK and 3 UK.

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