Portuguese cellcos Optimus and Vodafone Portugal have reportedly formalised an agreement to roll out a shared fibre network in the cities of Lisbon and Porto. The partnership will enable each company to launch its own independent commercial services as early as next year. An Optimus press statement read: ‘This partnership will allow the two operators to achieve commercial offerings under the new framework, in the first quarter of 2011. Optimus and Vodafone believe that the current agreement – under which the networks remain the property of each company – will generate synergies and offer a simplified solution for the realisation of our previously announced partnership’. Further, both companies have admitted that they are open to the idea of sharing the network with other Portuguese operators. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in December 2009 Vodafone reached an agreement with Optimus’ parent company Sonaecom, regarding mutual cooperation in the construction, management, maintenance and operation of a fibre-optic next generation network (NGN) in the main urban centres of Portugal. The agreement formed part of the government-backed EUR800 million (USD576.2 million) broadband development scheme, which was first announced in December 2009.