NOS and Vodafone Portugal closed a set of agreements for the sharing of mobile network infrastructures across the national territory, this Thursday was announced by the two telecommunications operators. The agreements focus on assets already controlled by both companies and on infrastructure that may be owned by both companies.
“A number of agreements have now been signed with a view to sharing support mobile network infrastructures (passive infrastructure such as towers and masts) and active mobile network (active radio equipment such as antennas, amplifiers and other equipment)”, reads communication that NOS sent to the Securities Market Commission (CMVM).
The agreements concluded by the two telecoms have “national scope”, but have different characteristics in their application across the regions to which they refer. That is, it will depend on the area for the area, if it is a region with a greater or lesser population density.
In the areas with the highest population density, NOS and Vodafone will “explore increased synergies in sharing support infrastructures”. In “typically rural” areas and in the interior of the country, the two operators “will, in addition to the common use of support infrastructures, share their active mobile network”.
The agreements aim to share infrastructure - current and future - for only 2G, 3G and 4G networks. In turn, the “accommodation of 5G in the referred agreements will be dependent on the autonomous decision of each operator to implement or not this technology”, underlines the statement issued by the CMVM.
The set of agreements aimed at sharing infrastructure for the mobile network will have no impact on competition between NOS and Vodafone, since the agreements “do not matter spectrum sharing”. Thus, the two operators maintain, “exclusively, the strategic control of their networks, thus guaranteeing total competition, strategic and commercial freedom and the ability to differentiate in the definition and provision of services to their respective customers”.
In other words, NOS and Vodafone will continue to evolve their mobile communications networks with “total freedom and autonomy”.
In this way, NOS and Vodafone partly promote what the Autoridade Nacional das Comunicações (Anacom) has been defending regarding roaming. However, in line with what both recently admitted to Parliament to be willing to accept, the agreements now announced promote only one roaming local or regional.
In a note sent to the newsroom, the executive president of NOS, Miguel Almeida, guaranteed that the strategic partnership between both “brings clear benefits” to the operator's customers, simultaneously opening “a path for the development of the digital society, enhancing the development of innovative products and services that have the ability to transform the way we live, how we work, how we learn and how we prepare our companies for the future ”.
“Sharing mobile infrastructures also allows us to reduce our ecological footprint, while increasing territorial cohesion and digital inclusion, which are essential factors for sustainable development across the country. With this agreement, NOS renews its commitment to make more efficient and sustainable investments, and reinforces the trust of its customers and others stakeholders”, Said Miguel Almeida.
Mário Vaz, CEO of Vodafone Portugal, also in a note sent to the newsroom, said that the sharing of infrastructures "responds positively to current challenges", allowing a reduction of environmental impacts and the costs of implementation and development, which will give scope for " more investment in quality services for all customers ”.
"This agreement takes place in a period that is especially critical for the country and challenging for the sector," added the manager, stressing that today "efficient, sustainable and ecologically responsible investments are required" in order to maintain the quality of services and promote cohesion territorial and social.
“It is in this perspective that this agreement aims to strengthen the technological platform from which essential services are provided for daily life, while also boosting the launch of innovative services, capable of improving the quality of life of the Portuguese and making business models more competitive, accelerating the necessary digital transition in the country, ”said the CEO of Vodafone.