Vodafone and Three pool resources for Irish network push

Mobile operators form joint venture to bolster Irish network coverage.

Hand shake

Mobile operators Vodafone and Three have agreed to pool their resources to bolster the network coverage on offer to customers in Ireland.

The pair have formed a joint venture company and will share their infrastructure at more than 2,000 locations across the country.

The Dublin-based company will manage the rollout of shared network sites and the maintenance of ongoing operational service and associated equipment.

The new venture is expected to be in business by the autumn and will be staffed by 80 employees from Vodafone Ireland and Three Ireland.

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According to a report on 3G.co.uk, the partnership is expected to save both companies 200 million over the next five years, as duplicate network sites will be decommissioned.

Robert Finnegan, chief executive of Three, said the venture will create the largest physical network for Irish consumers.

"We expect to be able to deliver the latest technologies to our customers faster than ever before," Finnegan said.

"This new joint venture combines the best of both networks and will be the smart choice for the savvy mobile customer," he said.

Both companies will remain independent and will separately maintain their core network capabilities, service platforms and spectrum.

Jeroen Hoencamp, chief executive of Vodafone, said consumers will continue to see some healthy competition between the two firms.

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"At a retail level, we will continue to compete aggressively against one another and with other operators to offer value and innovative services to consumers and businesses," said Hoencamp.

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