O2 and T-Mobile enter network-sharing deal in Czech Republic
07 May 2014 | Sophie Donoghue
Operators O2 and T-Mobile have agreed on a LTE network-sharing deal in the Czech Republic, in an effort to accelerate their 4G roll-out in the country.
The deal will see the two companies sharing LTE radio networks, allowing them to meet coverage conditions set in the country’s latest spectrum auction ahead of schedule.
The agreement builds on a deal finalised in November, which saw the two companies launch a 2G and 3G network-sharing partnership.
"This is a strategic step that follows on our current agreement on sharing 2G and 3G access networks," said Milan Vašina, CEO of T-Mobile Czech Republic. "On top of a faster high-speed broadband roll-out, the agreement will also bring savings that will allow further investment into the networks and services," he said.
O2 will run and maintain the network in the east of the country, while T-Mobile will be responsible for the west.
The companies expect to upgrade the network to provide faster services in the near future.
“Thanks to this agreement, we will bring fast mobile internet to Czech customers in a very short time – both in rural and urban areas of the country,” said Luis Malvido, CEO of O2 Czech Republic. “A shared network is also a European trend, as evidenced by similar successful projects in the UK, Sweden and France.”
Network sharing on a commercial basis is expected to begin in the second half of this year, following trials to be launched in the next few weeks.
In February this year, Deutsche Telekom announced plans to acquire full ownership of its T-Mobile Czech Republic unit in a $1.1 billion deal.