Vodafone Group and multimedia company NOS have signed an agreement to provide and share a fibre-to-the-home (FtTH) network that will reach around 2.6 million homes and businesses in Portugal. The partnership also includes mobile infrastructure, including at least 200 cell towers. Although Vaz calls the NOS connection a «historic agreement», Vodafone seems to have gained some experience with this type of frequency-exclusive network sharing agreement in the UK through the introduction of Moran (Multi-Operator Radio Access Network) technology (Vodafonewatch, #183). Both expect to connect new customers under the agreement from the beginning of the 2018 calendar year. Vodafone Portugal and NOS today signed a landmark agreement on the national sharing of mobile assets, which will enable faster and more efficient development of mobile networks across the country. Unlike full-fledged network sharing agreements, MORAN does not involve spectrum sharing, which would mean abandoning independence and autonomous decision-making. Everything else in the RAN – the antenna, tower, location and power supply – is always shared in a MORAN environment. Vodafone Portugal (VfP) has signed a «national» network sharing agreement with rival operator NOS. The agreement has been in turmoil for some time. The two operators signed a memorandum of understanding in February 2020 to pool their mobile infrastructure resources to «develop a sustainable investment model» (Vodafonewatch, No.
183). In densely populated places, usually large urban agglomerations, network sharing is likely to be passive rather than active. According to the official statement, the two operators «will explore increased synergies in sharing the mobile network support infrastructure and host their active equipment on these infrastructures.» Operators have signed various agreements to share infrastructure and mobile equipment, covering already existing 2G, 3G and 4G technologies. 5G will depend on the outcome of the auction. The agreements focus on assets currently owned by Nos and Vodafone or that will be owned by Nos and Vodafone in the future, as well as existing 2G, 3G and 4G technologies. «The inclusion of 5G technology in these agreements will depend on the independent decision of each operator whether or not to use this technology,» Nos points out. This agreement comes at a particularly critical stage for the country and poses a challenge for the sector. Critical, because the resilience of the economy and society in general increases the pressure on telecommunications networks. Difficult due to the pressure and significant investment required by operators.
Therefore, in addition to maintaining a strategy of providing high-quality services and promoting territorial and social cohesion – with real benefits for our customers and for the country – effective, sustainable and environmentally friendly investments are needed. This agreement aims to exploit and improve the technological platform from which services essential to daily life are provided, to further improve the introduction of innovative services capable of improving the quality of life of the Portuguese and improve business models and to accelerate the necessary digital transition in Portugal, says Mã¡rio Vaz, CEO of Vodafone Portugal. Under the agreement, NOS will increase its fiber optic network coverage from 3.76 million to more than 4.4 million households and businesses by the end of 2018, representing more than 80 percent of all households in the country. The operators Nos and Vodafone have signed agreements on the sharing of infrastructure and mobile equipment throughout Portugal. Vodafone Portugal (VfP) has entered into a «federal» network exchange with its competitor NOS. This agreement has been in existence for some time. In February 2020, the two operators signed a Memorandum of Understanding to pool their mobile infrastructure resources to «develop a sustainable investment model» (Vodafonewatch, #183). Operators have signed various agreements on the replacement of mobile network infrastructure and equipment covering existing 2G, 3G and 4G technologies. 5G depends on the outcome of the auction. The company, led by Miguel Almeida, explains that the agreements «will have a federal scope with different geographical applications, depending on the higher or lower population density. In high-density areas, usually larger urban areas, the parties will work synergistically by sharing the supporting infrastructure. In sparsely populated areas, usually rural and inland, the parties will share an active mobile network in addition to sharing supporting infrastructure.
«This agreement comes at a particularly critical time for the country and a major challenge for the sector,» the director added, stressing that today «effective, sustainable and environmentally friendly investments are necessary to maintain the quality of services and promote territorial and social cohesion». There seems to be an element of trust between VfP and NOS, in the sense that they don`t see any unpleasant pressure being exerted from one to the other to accelerate the rollout of 5G. A long-standing agreement on the exchange of fiber optic infrastructure has undoubtedly helped to foster closer working relations between the two operators (Vodafonewatch, #159 and Passim). The network sharing agreement covers 5G, but only in places where both operators agree to introduce next-generation technology. Everyone has the autonomy to roll out 5G at their own pace, which they say preserves strategic independence when it comes to network investments. The deployment of 2G, 3G and 4G networks in less densely populated areas is done through a single RAN that includes both passive and active network sharing: the former includes towers and masts; the latter antennas and base stations. «This agreement comes at a particularly critical time for the country and a challenge for the sector. This is crucial because the resilience of the economy and society in general increases the pressure on telecommunications networks. This is a challenge due to the scale and urgency of the investments required by operators,» Vodafone CEO Mário Vaz was quoted as saying in the note. Sharing the network will have no impact on competition between the two operators, Nos assures, while maintaining both parties «strategic and commercial independence and the ability to differentiate themselves in terms of customer service and delivery». The new properties that will be realized will be the result of a mix of new fiber optic constructions from each operator to expand their current footprint, as well as the sharing of existing connections – Vodafone having access to NOS connections in new Vodafone areas and vice versa.
Vodafone Portugal enters into a network sharing agreement with NOS There seems to be an element of trust between VfP and NOS, in the sense that they do not seem to see any unpleasant pressure from one on the other to accelerate the deployment of 5G. A long-standing agreement on the sharing of fiber optic infrastructure has undoubtedly helped foster closer working relations between the two operators (Vodafonewatch, #159 and passim). .