Operators Tele2 and Bite sign an agreement to create a network-sharing joint venture in Latvia and Lithuania to reduce operational costs and speed deployments.
The partnership includes sharing of infrastructure in current networks, spectrum sharing and jointly building out of 5G.
The two operators’ current radio and transmission networks will be merged, forming a joint shared network in each country. The aim is to improve network capacity and coverage for Latvian and Lithuanian customers while reducing each party’s operational costs and energy consumption.
Tele2 and Bite say the partnership will also allow them to roll out joint 5G networks faster and at a significantly lower cost than they would have been able to do working individually.
Tele2 already shares its network infrastructure in Sweden with Telenor.
Anders Nilsson, President and CEO, Tele2, said, “Network-sharing has proven to be very successful for Tele2. In Sweden, we share all of our mobile network infrastructure, which has not only made it possible for us to build world-class networks for our customers at lower cost but also made us the most energy efficient operator in the country.
“The agreement with Bite will create great value for our customers, employees, shareholders and Latvian and Lithuanian societies, especially as we embark on the 5G journey.”
Each company will have 50% ownership in the joint venture in both Latvia and Lithuania. The joint network will be built out gradually starting 2021, and the companies say they’re targeting the end of 2023 for the full network completion. At that point, they will share all of their radio networks, excluding customer-specific solutions.
Optimising the network
Nikita Sergienko, CEO Bite Group, said, “Shared radio network will result in better quality of service, larger coverage and better capacity than separate networks could provide. Not to mention that the cooperation also will result in more efficient use of resources, and have a positive environmental impact.”
The companies will continue to act as competitors in the Lithuanian and Latvian markets in all other aspects outside the scope of this agreement.