- Vodafone and and O2 Telefonica said that they have agreed to share 5G active equipment, such as radio antennas, on joint network sites across the UK.

The companies said the tie-up meant that people would get access to 5G sooner.

'Network sharing reaps the benefits of 5G and at the same time reduces the impact on the environment and lowers roll-out costs allowing more investment in services for customers,' the companies said.

However, the pair also said that they had agreed to greater 5G network autonomy on around 2,700 sites in 23 of the UK's larger cities, representing just over 16% of their combined mast sites.

Those were in addition to London, bringing the total number of autonomous sites to 25%.

'It gives both parties more flexibility to meet the needs of their customers and deploy future network technologies,' the companies said.

Their network sharing agreement would see the Cornerstone equal joint venture company take an additional role in the deployment of both networks and look to capture further operational efficiencies.

The companies said they would also explore 'potential monetisation options' for Cornerstone.

'We're driving our 5G roll-out forward with this agreement, and taking our customers, our business and the whole of the UK with us,;' chief executive Nick Jeffery said.

'Greater autonomy in major cities will allow us to accelerate deployment, and together with active network sharing, ensures that our customers will get super-fast 5G in even more places more quickly, using fewer masts.'

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