Two leading Czech operators have agreed to share radio access equipment for nationwide LTE coverage.
O2 and T-Mobile – owned by PPF and Deutsche Telekom respectively – will share equipment across the country with the exception of major cities Brno and Prague. However, the cooperation will be strictly limited; the operators will not share core infrastructure or business strategies.
Nonetheless, the agreement will enable both partners to provide 4G coverage well in advance of the deadlines outlined by the licence terms. The winners of the November 2013 auctions are required to roll out coverage to 50% of districts within 30 months.
T-Mobile CEO Milan Vasina said: “This is a strategic step that follows on our current agreement on sharing 2G and 3G access networks. On top of a faster high-speed broadband roll-out, the agreement will also bring savings that will allow further investment into the networks and services.”
Commercial sharing is expected to begin in the second half of the year, following tests “to assess the full functionality of the technical solution”, according to O2 CEO Luis Malvido.