Eurobites: Portugal's Vodafone and NOS seal network-sharing pact

  • Portuguese mobile operators Vodafone and NOS sealed a network-sharing agreement aimed at slashing costs while they roll out higher-speed technologies. The tie-up entails the sharing of basestation equipment in rural and less densely populated areas, but only the supporting site infrastructure in urban areas. Mrio Vaz, Vodafone Portugal's CEO, said the agreement came at a "challenging" time for the sector "due to the size and urgency of the investments that are required of operators." Network-sharing deals have taken off throughout the region as operators try to combat debt and boost profitability while they continue to invest in mobile networks. Vodafone Group now has agreements in place in several of its main European markets and is also spinning off its towers business to raise capital. An initial public offering in Frankfurt is planned next year. (See Disadvantage Towers? Vodafone plays game of risk.)
  • Energy giant Shell is said to be fighting UK broadband operators TalkTalk and Sky over broadband assets owned by the Post Office, according to a report from Sky News. Serving about half a million customers, those assets are currently up for sale in an auction and expected to raise close to 100 million ($131 million), says the report. Better known for pumping oil and overcharging drivers, Shell apparently serves about 130,000 broadband customers in the UK following a 2018 takeover of First Utility, a small player in the residential broadband sector.
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