Vodafone and 3 agree Ireland network sharing deal
LONDON (Reuters) - Vodafone (VOD.L) confirmed on Friday it had agreed to share network infrastructure in Ireland with Hutchison Whampoa's (0013.HK) 3, marking the first such deal in the country.
Vodafone and 3 will create a joint venture to share their physical network and site infrastructure at about 2,000 locations across Ireland.
A source said earlier this month that a joint venture between the operators would result in the biggest network in Ireland while producing "significant" cost savings.
The deal follows a spate of similar agreements across Europe where operators are looking for ways to upgrade their networks at a time when customers are cutting back on spending.
Sharing infrastructure would enable the companies to expand coverage for customers, buy equipment together to reduce costs, and increase the number of sites connected to a high-speed fibre backhaul network, Vodafone said in a statement.
Both companies will continue to run their own radio equipment and spectrum independently.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by James Davey)
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