MBNL, the 3G network sharing venture between T-Mobile and 3, has chosen Arqiva as its principle cell site partner.
Under a 10-year agreement between the two firms, Arqiva will provide 5,100 sites for roll-out of the 3G network.
Furthermore, Arqiva will have exclusive marketing rights for site sharing services on an additional 2,500 sites.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Graham Payne, managing director of MBNL, said: “This is a substantial contract for MBNL and the most significant in terms of provision of sites for the integrated network.
“We are delighted to have Arqiva as our strategic partner and look forward to a long and prosperous relationship.”
John Cronin, managing director of Arqiva’s Wireless Access division, said: “We are very pleased to continue our long-standing relationship with T-Mobile and 3 UK and to be playing such a significant role in this groundbreaking project.”
Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL) was set up in January 2008 by T-Mobile UK and 3 UK with the aim of providing close to 100% 3G coverage across Britain.
The two networks hope that improved coverage and higher network quality will increase 3G uptake, whilst achieving lower operational costs through joint management and maintenance.
The project is expected to generate a joint saving of £2 billion over the next 10 years.
MBNL aims to deliver a fully integrated network by 2010.
Infrastructure provider Arqiva has over 24,000 marketable sites across the UK, many of which are in key urban locations.