Mobile phone companies T-Mobile and 3 have announced a deal to combine their 3G networks in a bid to bring high-speed wireless broadband services to more parts of Britain.
The networks say their ‘ground-breaking collaboration’ will mean customers of either company in almost any part of Britain will be able to receive 3G services such as internet and TV access on a mobile phone by the end of 2008. All of Britain should be covered by the end of 2009.
T-Mobile and 3 estimate the tie-up will save them £2 billion over the next decade and will mean they can remove around 5,000 phone masts.
Both parties will retain responsibility for the delivery of services to their own customers.
T-Mobile UK Chief Executive Jim Hyde said: ‘From 2008, customers can expect to have access to high-speed 3G services in a greater number of locations than we can currently serve over our existing infrastructure. By collaborating with 3 UK, we can achieve this quicker and with greater economy – that’s a win-win in anyone’s language.’
The companies say that high-speed mobile broadband is set for rapid growth and that nationwide 3G coverage is essential to meet this growing demand.
Kevin Russell, Chief Executive Officer of 3 UK, said: ‘I am delighted that 3 is teaming-up with T-Mobile to deliver this major step forward for the UK mobile market. It is exciting to consider that within a short period of time wherever you can get 2G mobile coverage today you will be able to access the internet at broadband speeds from a 3G mobile device.’