Network sharing agreements are becoming more common, as the cost of carrying mobile traffic increases and MNOs have to fight harder for profit. Three in particular has been very active in making these deals, for example in the UK, where it has a network sharing agreement with Everything Everywhere. We expect this trend to accelerate, as operators seek to cut costs by reducing infrastructure and capex where possible.
Irish fixed line and mobile operator Eircom has announced that it will cut 2,000 of its 5,700 employees over the next 18 months in an aggressive push to cut its operational costs. The firm said that the measures will put it in line with the European average for employees and operational costs.
VoIP provider Skype has set up a public wifi network in the UK and Ireland in a bid to diversify its offering. The firm, acquired by Microsoft in 2011, has teamed up with wifi solutions provider Wicoms to roll out a service called Free Skype WiFi in UK high streets. The service enables shopping malls, retailers and other businesses to deliver public internet access to customers free of charge.
Mobile operator Vodafone struck another infrastructure sharing deal this week, this time in the Netherlands where its local operation will share passive infrastructure with KPN.
Mobile operators 3 and Vodafone are set to embark on a network sharing agreement in Ireland. A source close to the deal told Telecoms.com that the two operators are in advanced discussions regarding a joint infrastructure partnership.
Vodafone has been forced to refund customers in Ireland close to €1m after overcharging them for premium calls over the past three years. The operator has agreed to pay Ireland’s regulator ComReg €950,000 and has also set aside a further €250,000 to refund customers whose details it has lost, as well as customers who have left the network since being overcharged.
In this video, taken at TM Forum Management World, held in Ireland this week, Steve Shurrock, CEO of O2 Ireland talks about the ‘digitalisation’ of the health sector and the merging of the phone and the wallet as the operators makes its first moves in the financial services space.
Irish Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte has announced details of a rural broadband scheme for the country. The scheme is geared towards ensuring universal broadband access in Ireland before the end of 2012. According to the Minister, individual premises in rural areas that have been unable to obtain a broadband service will be able to avail of one on request.
The second and third-placed mobile operators in the Irish market, incumbent Eircom and Telefonica’s O2, have announced that they are to share networks in a deal that Eircom described as the first of its kind in Ireland. Eircom said that the deal will “result in an unrivalled mobile experience for customers” as the two carriers seek to meet growing demand for high bandwidth services.
The rumours were true. Vodafone, the world’s biggest operator by revenues, and pan-European carrier Telefonica, owner of the O2 brand, are sharing network infrastructure across Europe.