French media group Vivendi’s SFR mobile unit and rival network operator Bouygues Telecom have entered in exclusive negotiations to share parts of their mobile infrastructure in France, the Wall Street Journal reports. According to the article, both companies hope to come to a definitive agreement by the end of 2013, and the arrangement will allow them to increase their geographic coverage and generate significant savings in the deployment of network equipment. However, both companies are reportedly aiming to preserve completely independent commercial presence.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Bouygues confirmed that it had resumed talks with rival SFR over the possibility of sharing their network infrastructure in rural areas of France back in December 2012. The two companies had been in network sharing discussions since early-2012, although those negotiations ended without a deal being reached.