Network Sharing Pains In The UK

In many countries around the world, network operators are sharing parts of their radio access networks. In many cases the country they operate in is split up into different parts and each network operator exclusively installs the network infrastructure for both. Obviously this reduces cost but also denies companies that are part of the agreement to differentiate themselves in the one thing that matters: Speed and capacity.

Not that this would have stopped network sharing agreements in the past. But these days it seems some network operators are seeing the downsides of such agreements as well. Recently, TeleGeography reported that two network operators in the UK that are sharing their radio networks are having different opinions about how to counter the network expansion of a third network operator. While one network operator wants to aggressively expand coverage and capacity as well the other wants to take a slower approach. Tough luck, in for a penny, in for a pound as the saying goes.

The situation reminds me a bit of the tunnel coverage problems I’m having where network operators also share a single distribution network which is maintained by only one of them (who is totally incapable of fixing things, it’s still broken two months after I first noticed and reported it). Interestingly enough the network operator responsible for my tunnel problems is the one who’s sitting on the other side of the stick in the UK.