The three 3G licence holders in Ireland will share sites, saving themselves up to E1.5 billion each. Representatives from Hutchison Whampoa, O2 Ireland and Vodafone have gathered with others from the regulatory board to draw up a Code of Practice for the three companies.
To meet the coverage terms of the licences, it had been estimated that some 3000 3G sites would be required in total across Ireland. With the new agreement in place only 1000 sites are likely be necessary.
This sharing policy makes the rollout of 3G much easier and other nations could soon follow suit. Not only do the three companies save money on sites, it will also make it easier for them to get planning permission for the masts as they’ll now need fewer in total.
Additional to these benefits, other operators that had initially been put off bidding for licenses due to sheer expense of roll-out, may now come forward with 3G licence applications. Indeed, Irish operator Meteor has been already been rumoured to be interested in applying.