O2 and Vodafone successfully confused the media yesterday by announcing a network sharing deal, despite the fact that the deal extends to little more than linking up air-conditioning units and power supplies while the networks remain obstinately separate. The deal, which was announced yesterday, involves extending the existing …
Media jump the gun, guilty of sensationalism.
Hardly a new thing this, but shame on el reg for assuming that suddenly, everyone has the same coverage as everyone else. Its is one of the main selling points of a network.
The hard thing about cellsite placement is permission and then basic infrastructure. If you can just stick a transmitter on an existing pylon with power, then that is so much easier, and that is now what the two companies have done. Not mega radical, but a financial win for all parties concerned.
There I went thinking the networks had done something cost-effective, helpful and above all else SENSIBLE.
What is it about managing mobile phone network providers that reduce seasoned professionals to incompetent slobbering children? It's not THAT hard to play nicely together on the same turf - our train, postal, power and fixed line systems providers manage just fine.
It's got to the stage with my mobile where I get better coverage abroad than at home; because abroad, roaming agreements mean I connect to whichever network is available. At home, if there's powerful 3G signals available for Vodafone and Orange but not O2, I get nothing. I would even pay the extortionate roaming charges sometimes to be able to use another network, but they don't allow me. Bunch of fucking amateurs.
Allowing the other into their cabinets?
Maybe they've got separate locks for each bay, but isn't it a little risky to allow someone else into your cabinets, and thus to potentially fiddle with your equipment?
Not suggesting that Vodafone or O2 would actually have a policy of disconnecting the other, but the more people you have working there the more likely accidents are such as pulling the wrong cable, or leaning on the reboot button while installing a new unit.
Guess it'd keep the legal depts happy sending accusations to each other for every incident.
@ Ian Ferguson
When you fly out of Heathrow, and have just missed the BA Flight, do you expect to be able to catch a KLM one cos it's there?
Do you expect your neighbour to give you a lift to work, just cos there's a spare seat in his car?
You pay's yer money and takes yer choice - if O2 have poor signal where you want it, tough! You should have taken a Vodafone contract, deal with it!
Do you actually understand the technical aspects of network sharing, not to mention the business impacts of getting into bed with your competitors. Do you imagine you can simply bolt an NSN base station to an NEC one or an Ericsson to a Huawei? Do you imagine that 3 would want to invest years of planning in a scalable backhaul solution then let Vodafone just piggy-back onto it after their own plans bombed?
The deal is basically just a reaction to all the NiMBYs who don't want new sites closeby but bitch about the voice quality. They're sharing Cabins, not Cabinets since the contents are pretty much invisible to the landlord, and kit should be locked away from 'accidental' interference.
Of course it's only some kind of frame agreement, so the sole 2 900MHz spectrum owners might not share a single switch room in support of this PR.
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