Vodafone and 3 close to network merger in Ireland

Mobile network operators Vodafone and Hutchison Whampoa’s 3 are in talks to merge their telecommunications infrastructure in Ireland, according to reports.

The merger, which would create the largest network in Ireland, would lead to “significant” cost savings and improved network coverage, Reuters’ sources have said.

While the cost savings have not been detailed, the Financial Times said that each company could save more than £200 million over five years.

Similar to its deal in the UK with Telefónica’s O2, Vodafone will only share its telecoms infrastructure, with 3 and Vodafone keeping control of their own spectrum and retail services.

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The Vodafone and Telefónica network merger was announced last month.

Under the terms of the partnership, both companies will continue to run competing mobile internet and voice networks, and will retain control of their wireless spectrum, core networks and customer data.

The aim was to speed up the delivery of 4G services in the UK, the mobile operators said.