O2 and Vodafone join forces in preparation for 4G roll-out

Telefonica UK and Vodafone have revealed plans for a joint venture that will see both networks share one national grid that will improve call and mobile internet quality for both sets of customers.

It seems Telefonica UK, the parent company of O2, and Vodafone have taken the view that two heads are better than one as they look to gain ground on Everything Everywhere – itself a collaboration between Orange and T-Mobile – in preparation for the roll-out of 4G.

Both O2 and Vodafone have faced criticism from Everything Everywhere for stalling on plans to move into 4G, but this latest partnership is said to mean customers can expect indoor 4G coverage in 98 per cent of the UK by 2015, two years prior to Ofcom’s deadline. 

Other benefits from the proposed partnership will see each operator having access to 18,500 masts across one single grid – an increase of 40 pr cent for each operator - which again will improve 2G and 3G coverage across the UK. 

As the partnership progresses O2 will take charge of all the masts in the east of the country and Vodafone the west.

While the love-in bodes well for customers of both networks, O2 and Vodafone are keen to emphasise their independence despite the collaboration and will continue to compete with each other and other operators.

Ofcom is currently determining whether it approves of the proposed partnership. Pocket-lint will of course keep you posted as to any decisions made.

What do you think of O2 and Vodafone's joint venture? Let us know your thoughts.