mmO2 Looks To Beef Up Carrier Alliance
By Carlo Longino, Thu Nov 27 14:45:00 GMT 2003
mmO2's European alliance is looking to add partners in France, Greece, and the US to better compete with Vodafone and the other major European carriers' partnership.
mmO2 was frozen out of the Telefonica-Telecom Italia Mobile-T-Mobile-Orange alliance, and built its own with a number of smaller operators: Italy's Wind, Amena in Spain, Norway's Telenor Mobil, Pannon GSM in Hungary, and Swiss carrier sunrise, as well as mmO2's UK, German, and Irish networks.
Vodafone and the alliance of bigger Euro carriers have a US connection through Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile, respectively, so mmO2 is looking to add US GSM carriers Cingular or AT&T Wireless to its roster, along with Bouyges Telecom in France, and a Greek carrier to take advantage of increased traffic during next summer's Olympics.
These alliances have become popular as a way to deal with Vodafone's global roaming ease and purchasing clout, but mmO2's alliance only covers 40 million users -- less than half of Vodafone's European subsidiaries.
mmO2 also added that it wasn't looking to sell its German carrier, thanks to a greatly improved performance.