[cellular news] Polish mobile networks, Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa (T-Mobile), and PTK Centertel (Orange) have signed an agreement to share their radio access networks. The agreement covers management, planning, support, development and maintenance of the joint networks.
These tasks are going to be performed by NetWorkS!, a newly-formed company in which both operators hold an equal 50% of shares.
The most significant benefits of the joint venture are related to short-term acceleration of the modernization of the entire RAN network. Upfront investment in the first three years will allow to save up to 29% of the total RAN cost on a longer-term basis, in line with the reduction in total number of sites.
Thanks to the co-operation, the operators will be able to eliminate duplicating base stations in close proximity, and share the remaining stations across the country. The co-operation will be based on a similar number of base stations for each operator. Currently, PTC has around 7,000 stations and PTK around 6,400 stations - whereas the merged network will operate on around 10,000 base stations.
Due to the scale of the undertaking, the implementation of the new network solutions will take place gradually until the year 2014, with the first positive effects to be visible in selected regions of the country in the first half of 2012. Intensive work will continue over the coming months to develop an adaptation plan of the operators' networks and the preparation of a tender procedure for the supply of new equipment.
The agreement is set over a term of 15 years, with an option to extend. The RAN sharing agreement between PTK Centertel and PTC will be limited to technical aspects. Each party remains the owner of their networks and frequencies. Both operators will continue to compete in the wholesale and retail market of telecommunications services under their existing brands.
Polish Mobile Network Operators Agree to Share Radio Access Networks