Vodafone and O2 mast sharing deal to be completed by 2018

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Project Beacon completion to come two years after the initial promised finish date

Vodafone expects its mast sharing agreement with O2 to be completed by the end of 2017 – two years after the initial promised completion date.

Project Beacon was established in 2012 and saw Vodafone and O2 combine 18,000 masts into a single grid.

It now sees both with a population coverage of 97 per cent, just one per cent short of the target. More than 400 base stations are upgraded monthly under Project Beacon which has a total investment of £2 million.

A completion date of 2015 was set – two years earlier than the Ofcom target. However, figures obtained by Mobile News at the time showed they fell short with 63 per cent population coverage.

Dropped call rates have fallen from 0.67 per cent to 0.47 per cent. This drops to 0.09 per cent in cities such as London, which it claims is better than Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Beacon completion

Vodafone UK head of networks Kye Prigg said: “We are now 79 per cent complete. More than 400 base stations are upgraded monthly, which means we have a brand new network compared to the likes of EE and Three who have quite an old one.

“We expect Beacon to be completed by the end of this financial year in December. There will be a few sites left over, which include remote areas because it’s hard to bring fibre to them. We are working on those, but we expect Beacon to be more than 99.9 per cent finished by the end of the year.”

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