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Vodafone and O2’s network merger gets the go ahead

O2 and Vodafone’s plan to team up and take on EE at the 4G game in the UK has been approved for the go ahead by UK regulators.

Soon Orange and T-Mobile won’t be the only UK networks to have merged, as O2 and Vodafone will soon be sharing infrastructure in an attempt to offer 4G services to rival new network EE.

Talks have been going on for some time now between the two, and now the green light has been given to start proceedings. The merger will be different to that of Orange and T-Mobile however, as both networks will still remain as competing entities. The idea is to share network infrastructure – masts and broadcasting equipment – in order to bring 4G LTE connectivity to the UK by 2015.

Both networks will be putting together their gear to launch one big network, which they hope will provide indoor and outdoor 3G coverage to 98% of the country by 2015. This process will also put everything in to place for both networks to have their own 4G LTE services.

Guy Laurence, CEO Vodafone UK said: “This is excellent news for British consumers, businesses and the wider economy: we are promising indoor coverage for 98% of the UK population across all technologies within three years. We will bring the best mobile coverage that this country has ever enjoyed to more people than ever before. Our existing customers will benefit on the devices that they have today and we will lay the foundations for the real 4G network they will want tomorrow.”

With EE launching its 4G service in the UK before the end of the year and Three already owning some of the 4G spectrum for starting its own service, it looks as though O2 and Vodafone could still be some way behind. Still, it’s good to know that there will be options for customers and competition between our networks, which is always a good thing.

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