Czech Telefonica, Vodafone close to infrastructure deal -report

PRAGUE Tue Aug 6, 2013 5:28am EDT

PRAGUE Aug 6 (Reuters) - Telefonica Czech Republic is close to a cost-cutting deal to share infrastructure with rival Vodafone, newspaper Mlada Fronta Dnes reported on Tuesday, citing sources close to both companies.

The deal should save the unit of Spain's Telefonica up to 152 million euros ($201 million) over the next 15 years, the newspaper said.

Vodafone, No. 3 on the Czech market, would pay Telefonica CR 40 million euros under the arrangement, according to company documents cited by the newspaper.

Telefonica CR spokesman Hany Farghali said the firm had been exploring "a multitude of options" with regard to sharing. "However, at this moment, we do not have any binding network sharing agreement with any party apart from ...(T-Mobile)."

Telefonica CR has shared part of its Czech 3G network with Germany's T-Mobile since 2011. The reported deal with Vodafone would be much larger in scale.

Network sharing deals allow firms to share transmitters and receivers and also power supplies and other technical equipment.

Vodafone's spokeswoman had no immediate comment.