Vodafone expands network sharing agreement with Orange

25 April 2019 | Natalie Bannerman

Cover

Vodafone and Orange have signed a new mobile and fixed network sharing agreement in Spain, expanding their existing partnership.

Under the terms of the agreement, Vodafone is able to offer its customer broadband access and other fixed line services on Orange’s fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network. Both companies will also explore co-investment opportunities to expand their fibre footprint in the future.

“Vodafone is committed to deliver the best gigabit networks,” said Nick Read (pictured), chief executive of Vodafone.” As we approach a 5G world, we have a window of opportunity to design networks with other operators who share our passion for quality and coverage. These network sharing agreements mean we can provide a better service to customers, help us to address coverage requirements faster and more efficiently and also reduce the industry’s environmental impact.”

The enhanced agreement will also enable accelerated deployment of 5G over a wider geographical area. In addition, the collaboration creates a more economically efficient investment model for future deployments, it is more environmentally efficient and the local economy will benefit from faster 5G adoption.

Both parties entered into the original agreement back in 2006. At the time, the scope of the deal included nationwide passive infrastructure as well as active infrastructure in smaller towns - this was then renewed in 2012 and 2016. This new agreement has been broadened to include 5G, meaning that customers will experience such new features as low latency and much higher speeds.

In addition, the new agreement allow active network sharing – this includes the radio access network and high-speed backhaul – in cities with populations of up to 175,000 people. The previous agreements only allowed for sharing in towns of between 1,000 – 25,000 people. As a result of the collaboration, two thirds of the Spanish population will be covered by the shared agreement, with approximately 14,800 sites expected to be shared. From a financial perspective, the deal will deliver an opex and capex savings to Vodafone of at least €600 million over the next ten years.

Vodafone and Orange will retain separate management of their spectrum rights, the management of their network performance, the operation and control of their core networks, as well as the development of new products and services.

Vodafone will also be able to offer fibre and convergent services to an additional one million premises, expanding its overall next-gen network footprint in Spain to more than 23 million homes.