Tele2 has entered into a partnership with the operator Bite to create a network sharing joint venture in Latvia and Lithuania.
According to Tele2, it includes sharing of infrastructure in current networks, spectrum sharing as well as future build-out of 5G.
It adds that the two operators’ current radio and transmission networks will be merged, forming a joint shared network in each country. The aim will be to improve network capacity and coverage for Latvian and Lithuanian customers, while reducing each party’s operational costs and energy consumption. The partnership also aims to roll out joint 5G networks faster and at a significantly lower cost than Tele2 and Bite would have been able to do on a stand-alone basis.
Commenting on the development, 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”.
Nikita Sergienko, CEO Bite Group, added: “The major goal of the partnership is to optimise existing radio network and build 5G infrastructure in Lithuania and Latvia faster, less costly and with better coverage than on an individual basis. 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 a more efficient use of resources, and have a positive environmental impact”.
The board and management of the joint venture will be jointly appointed by the two owners and managed by a board with representatives from each company.
Each party will hold a 50% stake in the joint venture in both Latvia and Lithuania. The joint network will be built out gradually starting 2021, with the full network targeted to be established by December 31, 2023. As of this date, Tele2 and Bite will share all of their radio network, only excluding customer specific solutions.
The parties will continue to act as competitors in the Lithuanian and Latvian markets in all other aspects.