Vodafone and Telefónica give themselves free rein to monetize their joint telecommunications towers in the United Kingdom

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Vodafone and Telefonica have signed a long-term agreement to add value and monetize their joint telecommunications infrastructure in the United Kingdom through Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited (CTIL), a company that they both control 50% under the formula of joint venture. This pact is effective from this month and will run for eight years, with the possibility of being renewed three more times for the same duration.

Through this operation, Vodafone can integrate its CTIL assets into Vantage Towers, a telecommunications tower affiliate made up of more than 68,000 sites in nine European markets, including Spain. The operator Red plans to list Vantage on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange at the beginning of this year, present in Germany, Spain, Greece, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary and Ireland, and also in Italy thanks to the control of the 33.2% of Inwit, a company in which Telecom Italia also participates.

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CTIL was formed in 2012 to consolidate the infrastructure networks of Telefónica and Vodafone in the UK, mainly towers, which were thus transferred to the new company. The JV has 14,200 macro sites and 1,400 micro sites, all these towers, a fundamental deployment for the next extension of 5G technology in British lands.

However, the goal of taking Vantage public changes the scenario. Vodafone wants to integrate the assets of CTIL and Telefonica could take advantage of it in the future. Thus, those towers would no longer depend on the Vodafone group, but on Vantage (Vodafone after all), and this company would gain strength for his debut on the park.

A range of possibilities for Telefonica

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Telefónica could also benefit from this move and in a number of ways. One option is to create an infrastructure subsidiary in the United Kingdom and strengthen it with the assets of CTIL; Another possibility is the integration into the Telxius subsidiary; that group of assets could also be sold to a third party; and why not add value to the merger operation that Telefónica has undertaken with Liberty Global in the British market, through its O2 brand.

Not in vain, CTIL covers 53% of the market coverage in that country, a relevance derived from serving Vodafone and O2, key operators in the United Kingdom.

Mark Evans, CEO of Telefonica UK, said: “This is an exciting announcement on our journey to provide global connectivity to our customers. The new agreement will allow us to develop a value for our business while investing in our network of infrastructure”.

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