Vodafone is moving to place almost all of its network share agreement with UK carriers O2. The deal is likely to shake the United Kingdom's mobile market. The deal, code named "Cornerstone", is in the "final stage" and is set to cover 2G, 3G technologies as well as data and transmission sites. It is set to help both the companies to cut infrastructure costs.
This may irk Orange, which presently has a sites sharing deal with Vodafone. It is reported in The Guardian.co.uk that Orange may ask to join its rivals 3 UK and T-Mobile in their network sharing arrangement, which they forged at the end of 2007. If such tie-ups will take place, the number of networks may reduce and the number may come down from five to just two.
The new agreement will eliminate the base stations and duplication efforts. However, the new tie-ups will still allow the networks to operate under their own brand names. The new trends may make phone calls and internet services further cost effective. However, both the UK's Competition Commission and Office of Fair Trading must clear the agreement to make sure that it will not reduce the competition between the telephone corporations.