Bird & Bird advises on the world's largest known active 3G sharing agreement



International law firm Bird & Bird has advised T-Mobile on the creation of the world’s largest known active 3G sharing agreement.

T-Mobile (UK) and 3 UK have signed an agreement to combine their 3G access networks in a ground breaking collaboration that will lead to almost complete population coverage for 3G services across Britain by the end of 2008. The deal will significantly increase both operators’ 3G network quality and coverage, accelerate the provision of new high speed broadband services and deliver substantial cost savings as well as environmental benefits. Although the masts and 3G access networks are being combined, each company’s core network and T-Mobile’s 2G network will not be shared. Both parties will retain responsibility for the delivery of services to their respective customers and use their own radio spectrum. This is the world’s largest known active 3G network sharing agreement.

The deal was led by Robyn Durie and Matthew Redding, who are both in-house lawyers with T-Mobile, with Andrew Lovelock leading on the property law side assisted by Glen Sinclair.

Bird and Bird provided support to them and the wider T-Mobile team on delivering this transaction. The Bird & Bird team included Michael Swinson (commercial/comms), Matilda Walker (corporate), Claudia Vincenzi (commercial/comms), Karl Delport (commercial/comms), Craig Giles (commercial/comms), Claire Brunel-Cohen (commercial/comms) and Brett Israel (Partner, finance), with Graeme Maguire as the relationship partner (Partner, commercial/comms).

Commenting on this deal, Robyn Durie, Regulatory Counsel of T-Mobile, said: “What I found particularly pleasing was the way the Bird & Bird lawyers worked seamlessly as part of our team to get the job done. We needed a truly integrated team to work through and successfully address some highly complex and technical issues and this is what we had.”

Graeme Maguire added: “We were grateful for the opportunity of assisting the T-Mobile lawyers and the wider T-Mobile team on such an important communications deal. We often hear from our clients that they want internal and external lawyers to work as one team and this was an excellent example of this aim working in practice. This complex network sharing deal is exactly the sort of deal our people enjoy working on and we are delighted to have been trusted to help deliver this.”

3 UK was advised on the deal by in-house lawyers Stephen Lerner, Kate Copping, Belinda Fawcett and Pip Zame, together with a team from Freshfields led by Perry Noble and Natasha Good.


For more information please contact
Ben Girdlestone, Head of Marketing Communications
Tel: +44(0)20 7982 6470