Network sharing takes a step forward
Written by: Charlotte Hathway | Published:

Vodafone has said it is the first mobile network operator (MNO) to deploy a 5G multi-operator radio access network in the United Kingdom.

This follows the Shared Rural Network (SRN) proposal – set out by the government, Vodafone, EE, O2 and Three back in October – where MNOs agreed to share masts and infrastructure in rural areas. Ofcom is not including coverage obligations in its upcoming 5G spectrum auction in light of those commitments.

Network sharing has emerged as a key aspect of rural 5G deployment in the UK, where rollout costs are unlikely to provide a return on investment for MNOs.

Deploying multi-operator radio access networks will enable providers to share the same mobile base station - reducing the number of masts needed and consequently lowering energy usage.

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