Co-investment of Vodafone and Wind in the mobile networks of the province
Two years following the cancellation of their merger, the administrations of Vodafone and Wind have announced the development of a joint venture with regard to antennae and network sharing, particularly in the borders. As both companies highlight in their joint announcement, the objective of the new plan is the creation of 650 new jobs through the investment of 150 million euros. However, this is subject to the approval of the National Telecommunications and Post Commission (EETT).
As noted by both companies, the agreement comprises “the partial sharing of the mobile network 2G/3G, particularly in the borders, and is restricted to certain urban areas.” “This co-operation will hasten investments into new mobile networking technologies and will allow the important increase of broadband speeds through mobile networks, even in the furthest areas of the country”.
However, it is highlighted that Vodafone will continue to have the exclusive management of the new high-speed network, 4G, in all of Greece, whereas Wind will continue the modernization of its network, according to its program. It has already completed 70% of this in urban areas, within the context of a total investment that reaches 300 million euros.
The two telecommunications providers mention that their new co-operation “will yield important benefits for the country, the economy and its subscribers, as a direct result of investments that will surpass 150 million euros in the sectors of construction and telecommunications provision, creating 650 new work positions, particularly in the construction sector.” At the same time, they continue, “the investment program will have additional indirect benefits for other sectors of the economy that will reach 50 million euros.”
The implementation of the agreement will be done through a special purpose entity that will take over the shaping, the development, and the management of the network, with an equal share for both companies (50%). “The staff of the company will be made up of workers from both providers, who will be transferred with their existing employment rights and conditions of service” clarifies the announcement.
The agreement, in any case, is subject to the approval of EETT, who it must be noted are currently investigating Vodafone’s allegations regarding Cosmote’s dominant position in the market of prepaid mobile communication, requesting adjustments.
It is worth noting that despite the fact that Cosmote was created several years after the two first providers of mobile communication in the country (then Panafone-Vodafone and Telestet), it still managed to raise the progressively larger share in mobile communication following the blockade of OTE from the market.