Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa (T-Mobile Poland) and Orange Poland have signed a 15-year agreement on mobile access network sharing. The two cellcos founded a joint venture, dubbed ‘NetWorkS!’ with each owning 50% of the new company. NetWorkS! will manage and develop the networks of both operators and will lead to improved network coverage and quality. Orange Poland’s CEO Miroslav Rakowski claimed that increased efficiency in investment would allow them to expand the network infrastructure more rapidly, including inside buildings. The press release also promised new services, such as mobile broadband, would become available.
The joint network will consist of 10,000 base stations, although T-Mobile Poland currently owns 7,000 base stations and Orange, 6,400. The remaining 3,400 stations made obsolete by the agreement will be disposed of. Network expansion will proceed slowly until 2014, although the first improvements are expected to be noticeable by the first half of 2012.
The deal will reduce expenditure for the telcos by around 29% in the first three years, by lowering the capital needed for network development and decreasing operational costs. Orange expects the agreement to make yearly savings of around PLN200 million (USD71.5 million) from 2015 onwards. T-Mobile Poland is a subsidiary of Deutsche Telecom, which has owned 100% of the company since December 2010, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, while Orange Poland is 100%-owned by Polish incumbent telco, Telekomunikacja Polska (TP), itself controlled by France Telecom, which owns just under 50% of the group. The German and French international giants are increasing their cooperation in several markets, and in the UK operate their cellular operations via a joint venture, Everything Everywhere.