Vodafone Greece and Wind Hellas have a signed a network sharing agreement as both operators look to save costs in the troubled European country.

The agreement is for 2G and 3G networks only as Vodafone said it will continue to operate its 4G network on its own across Greece.

The two operators – the second and third largest operators behind market leader Cosmote – said they will form a new technology company to manage the radio access network. The agreement is due to last for 15 years.

Vodafone and Wind HELLAS explored a merger last year, but no deal materialised.

In a statement, Vodafone said customers will benefit from improved coverage and enhanced data performance and both companies will realise cost savings, although it did not specify how much.

Last year, analysts estimated that a network sharing agreement between Vodafone and O2 in the UK may enable cost savings of €1 billion over three years.

Greece forms part of Vodafone’s Southern Europe business unit, which was set up last June; in the first quarter of 2013, service revenues fell over 13 percent.

The deal is just the latest in a series of recent network sharing agreements across Europe; last month, Telefónica Deutschland and Deutsche Telekom have agreed a deal to share more closely the latter’s fixed line network in Germany.

In March, Vodafone teamed up with Orange to share investment in deploying an FTTH network in Spain.

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