UK carriers O2 and Vodafone have agreed a deal which will see them combine their network infrastructure in a bid to roll out 4G within the UK more quickly. By 2015, 98% of the UK should have 4G coverage by sharing roughly 18,500 masts between the two networks and will have mobile internet speeds of at least 2Mbps. Both networks say the actual speeds however are expected to be much quicker than 2Mpbs. O2 have already tested the 4G service in London and those users who took part in the trials saw speeds of between an impressive 20Mbps and 50Mbps. However O2 themselves state that they have recorded speeds of up to 150Mbps whilst trialling the service themselves in the UK.
This specific deal between O2 and Vodafone is different to the merger that happened between UK networks Orange and T-Mobile who joined forces in July 2010 to create Everything Everywhere. Analysts however, cite that the pairing between O2 and Vodafone has been agreed in part to compete against Everything Everywhere and their network infrastructure. “If Vodafone and Telefonica had not also embraced sharing in this way they would have been at a competitive disadvantage” says Jeremy Green from Ovum.