Ericsson Expands 3G Netowork Management Contract in the UK
Published on: 13th February 2009
Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL), the 50:50 joint venture formed by 3 UK and T-Mobile UK to integrate and manage their 3G radio access networks (RAN), has selected Ericsson to provide managed services to complete the consolidation of their 3G infrastructure. Under the terms of the contract, about 220 T-Mobile staff have transferred to Ericsson.
T-Mobile and 3 formed their infrastructure sharing agreement in January 2008 - with network integration and upgrades expected to be completed in 2010.
The first integrated cell site was commissioned in early February 2008. Since then MBNL has concluded a pilot in the Leeds and Bradford area which successfully validated the network sharing technology and is now engaged in consolidating the radio access networks across the UK.
Ericsson will be responsible for the network design and deployment requirements of the consolidation program, which will result in the creation of an integrated 3G network, while reducing the number of radio sites from approximately 18,000 sites to 13,000.
In addition to the consolidation and decommissioning of sites, Ericsson will take responsibility for the acquisition and building of new sites, capacity management, equipment swaps and upgrades to transmission facilities. The five-year contract includes management of the ongoing growth and optimization of the 3G RAN as well as T-Mobile's 2G access network.
In November 2008, Ericsson was awarded a managed services contract for the operation of the integrated 3G networks and T-Mobile's 2G network.
T-Mobile UK CTO Emin Gurdenli says: "Our partnership with Ericsson will accelerate network integration activities and keep us on track to achieve our goal of creating the UK's most extensive 3G network by 2010, providing consumers across the UK access to 3G services. The provision of universal access to high-speed broadband services by 2012 is the centerpiece of the Government's Digital Britain report. The realization of our consolidated 3G network will open the way for mobile broadband to play an increasingly important role in achieving this target."
This contract is the seventh managed services contract announced in the UK by Ericsson.
7 Oct 2008 - BT Signs 3G Backhaul Contract with T-Mobile and 3 UK
3 Oct 2008 - T-Mobile UK to Shut-Down 5000 Base Stations
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