Network buildouts our expensive, and virtually every carrier in the world is staring down the barrel of a potentially multibillion-dollar LTE or WiMAX upgrade over the coming years. How do you soften the blow? One option is to make a strange bedfellow or two, and that's exactly what Telenor and Tele2 have done in Sweden. The rival carriers have agreed to form a joint venture to share the cost of crafting a new LTE network from the ground up and sharing spectrum in the 900 and 2600MHz bands, kicking off this year with the goal of offering service in 2010. From the customer's perspective, it seems like this could ultimately limit competition and healthy price pressure in the marketplace -- but if the alternative is waiting a few more years for these pricey networks to get off the ground, we suppose we'll take it.

[Via GigaOM]

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Telenor and Tele2 agree to split LTE buildout costs in Sweden