Friday, October 3, 2008

T-Mobile to shut down 5k base stations

UK mobile operator, T-Mobile is reported to be planning a shut-down of some 5,000 of its base stations as part of its network sharing deal with Hutchison 3G UK. The UK trade magazine, Mobile Today said that both networks are removing transmitters as they begin to share resources.

It is believed that a small amount of new sites will be built as they take 3G into areas where there hadn't been coverage before.

Although masts and the 3G access networks are being combined, each company's core network and T-Mobile’s 2G network will not be shared. Both parties will retain responsibility for the delivery of services to their respective customers and use their own frequency spectrum. Nokia Siemens Networks' radio access solution will replace most of the two operators' communications stations across the UK and equipment at the remaining sites is being upgraded and reconfigured.

Mobile Broadband Network (MBNL), the network collaboration joint-venture between T-Mobile UK and Hutchison 3G UK, recently selected Nokia Siemens Networks as the technology partner for their 3G network integration.

The combination of new kit and shares infrastructure should allow a reduction the number of sites in the network by about 30 percent. Together with the lower future capital expenditure requirement, the companies have estimated that combined savings are estimated at £2 billion (US$4.1 billion) over 10 years.

In February last year, Vodafone and Orange agreed to to share their respective 3G Radio Access Networks (RANs), with a possibility of sharing the GSM RAN as well in the future.

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