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Optus and Vodafone To Share 3G Network

27th August ,2004

Europe : Optus and Vodafone Australia today announced a heads of agreement to share 3G network sites and radio infrastructure across Australia.

Inset is Allen Lew, Managing Director, Optus Mobile quoted below.

Under the agreement, Optus and Vodafone will work together to build and operate a joint national 3G radio network infrastructure.

Russell Hewitt, Acting CEO, Vodafone Australia said, “We have always been a strong advocate of 3G network partnering. We are delighted to be able to work with another operator with a strong commitment to delivering a quality network.

“By bringing together two extremely talented teams, we will be able to share resources so we can roll out faster and deliver efficiencies to our business.”

Allen Lew, Managing Director, Optus Mobile said, “The Radio Access Network represents about two thirds of the total capital cost of a 3G network, so to be able to share this cost with another company is beneficial.

“This agreement will lower our 3G cost structure – but consumers will be the real winners.

Consumers will have access to a robust and reliable network since it will tap into the 3G expertise and success of Vodafone and Optus.”

Optus will draw on SingTel’s regional presence and expertise and Vodafone will draw on its global experience in rolling out 3G networks around the world including Japan, the UK, Germany and Italy. This will ensure that the 3G customer experience is first rate.

Although the two companies will share 3G infrastructure, they will provide completely separate customer services and continue to compete vigorously for customer business.

The two companies expect to sign a long form agreement by late October 2004.

The arrangements will be conditional upon necessary regulatory approvals.

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