Mobile providers Bite and Tele2 have registered their network sharing joint venture, dubbed ‘Centuria’, Firmas.lv reports. The JV was created with the mission to build, own and operate mobile networks in Latvia and Lithuania, with the two groups partnering to share active and passive network infrastructure and transmission for 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G systems. According the press release, Riga-based Centuria was established with a share capital of EUR2 million (USD2.2 million), with Bite Latvia and Tele2 holding 50% each. Existing radio and transmission networks of the two providers will be merged to form a common network in each country in an effort to reduce energy consumption and lower operating costs, although the duo will continue to maintain separate core networks. The partnership also aims to roll out 5G networks faster and at a lower cost than the pair could achieve separately. The overall network is scheduled to be phased in from 2021 onwards, with the works to be completed by 31 December 2023.
In a linked development, Bite has signed an agreement to acquire additional shares in ISP Baltcom, local news portal LETA.lv reports, citing the Bite Latvia Executive Director Kaspars Buls. The official noted that the move is part of Bite’s long-term strategy of strengthening its position in the ICT market. The value of the deal was not disclosed, however, and the agreement remains subject to approval from the relevant authorities. As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Bite acquired a 28.5% stake in Baltcom in July 2016, paying EUR3.5 million for the shares.