The joint venture project between Three and Everything Everywhere to share more than 12,000 3G sites has been completed
T-Mobile and Three agreed a 50/50 joint venture in 2007 to consolidate their 3G networks to increase coverage and data speeds for customers and reduce running costs by sharing equipment.
Three and T-Mobile formed the company Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL) to manage the joint venture. Orange joined in September this year following its joint venture agreement with T-Mobile.
In addition, more than 5,000 existing 3G sites have now been switched off, with 2,000 sites already being fully decommissioned.
Network specialist Ericsson was responsible for the network design and deployment with Nokia Siemens Networks supplying the equipment and BT Wholesale providing the Ethernet backhaul to support delivery of mobile voice and data traffic to cell sites.
Three chief executive officer Kevin Russell said: “There were a lot of people back in 2007 who said a network share of this scale could not happen. We’ve proved an awful lot of people wrong. The MBNL network is going to get bigger and it’s going to get better.”
Everything Everywhere vice president of network services Emin Gurdenli said: “The success of MBNL in delivering 12,000 3G sites is great news for T-Mobile customers. The integration of a large number of former Orange cell sites into the network will also provide enhanced capacity and coverage to all of our customers.”
Ericsson UK managing director Chris Houghton commented: “Innovative consolidation projects like this reflect new business models taking root in the industry, which I’m sure will learn a lot from our work and the achievements made during the project.”