Doubts have been raised about mast agreement in face of Three’s acquisition of O2 but EE CEO Olaf Swantee praised partnership
EE would look to maintain it’s network sharing agreement with Three in the face of the proposed consolidation in the market, according to CEO Olaf Swantee.
Speaking to Mobile News yesterday at a joint event with BT, set to buy EE in a £12.5 billion deal, Swantee praised the partnership under Mobile Broadband Network Limited deal, which was formed in 2010 with T-Mobile and believed to be worth around £1 billion.
MBNL currently runs around 14,000 masts, mainly on 3G, but is set to boost this to more than 17,000 by 2017.
“I can’t comment on O2’s partnership with Vodafone but our partnership with Three is very good,” he explained. “We have a solid working network relationship. It is one of the most advanced in Europe and is a working model. We are very committed to it.
“We would happily continue with the partnership. It has evolved over time to be more 3G than anything else. We are pleased with this network sharing and would very much like it to continue.”
His view echoes comments made by Three CEO Dave Dyson in February, when he told Mobile News the operator had “no plans” to end the network sharing deal, despite its £10.25 billion agreement to buy O2 from Telefonica.
O2 also has its own network sharing deal with Vodafone, known as Cornerstone which has been in place since 2012. Currently, it has around 18,000 sites.
Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao challenged Three to cut ties with EE back in February.
Colao said the two deals aren’t “compatible” in the face of the proposed consolidation in the market, but it may be an issue resolved by the regulators.