Although Orange has denied the information and Vodafone has declined to comment, journalist Ignacio del Castillo assures that both companies have held talks in an initial phase over the last few weeks. These conversations have been suspended due to the imminent auction of the 700 MHz which will allow operators to access these frequencies to deploy 5G.
A single mobile network for Orange and Vodafone customers
Although many do not know it, Orange and Vodafone already have an agreement to share their networks that is known Jumping. Operators share their mobile networks in all cities with up to 175,000 inhabitants, covering 14,800 radio sites. In them, we only have installed radio equipment from one of the two operators that serves the clients of both.
The idea would be to extend this to the entire national territory, including large cities such as Madrid or Barcelona. In addition, a new subsidiary would be created in the ServiceCo format that would bring together a good part of the personnel in charge of the networks right now in both companies. As you can imagine, this would mean significant cost savings and better preparation to tackle investments in the future.
With a single mobile network for all customers of both companies (at the end of the integration process), this new subsidiary would have a good part of the employees who design, deploy, manage and maintain them at this time. In specific or critical places they could maintain the network separately, but they would be places numbered in our geography since the idea is to have a single network for all of Spain.
Both groups already have previous experience in this type of operation, having carried out similar movements in Romania. In addition, it would follow the line of decisions made with the tower companies that Vodafone has created. Vantage Towers and Orange has created Totem.
How could it be otherwise, everything must be authorized by the CNMC (National Commission of Markets and Competition), although it could put fewer impediments than those it would put to a merger or integration of companies.