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EC Set to Approve T-Mobile Orange UK Merger

Gordon Kelly


EC Set to Approve T-Mobile Orange UK Merger

We always knew it was going to prove controversial, but it looks like the T-Mobile and Orange UK merger is set to get the go ahead.

The Times reports that the European Commission is happy to fast track the deal after initially meeting opposition from the Office of Fair Trading, industry watchdog Ofcom and rival networks. Why? According to The Times:

"Orange and TMobile (sic) have agreed to give up some bandwidth, prompting both the OFT and Ofcom to tell the European Commission they are happy for it to rule on the deal."

The meat on this statement is made up of two major parts. Firstly, the duo will give up one quarter of their 1,800MHz bandwidth so as not to close our competitors. 1,800MHz is vital as it is able to send and receive data at much faster rates than 850/900MHz, though it doesn't cover wide areas as easily as these two lower bands. Secondly, the duo have provided assurances to 3 that its network-sharing agreement with T-Mobile won't be compromised - something that would have left the UK's smallest telco at a significant disadvantage.

So as we stand the EC now has until 1 March to refer the inquiry to UK authorities, but that is unlikely to happen. The combined T-Mobile/Orange business will become the leading network in the UK with a whopping 37 per cent market share. This compares to O2's 27.7 per cent and Vodafone's 24.7 per cent, 3 has approximately eight per cent.

Let the fallout begin!


via The Times

Hans Gruber

February 23, 2010, 7:12 am

Is that the official new name, T'Orange? Eh, oop, very northern!


February 23, 2010, 7:33 am

So T-Morange? I prefer Orabile.


February 23, 2010, 8:20 am

So will Orange customers who are in areas where T-Mobile has better coverage.. suddenly get better coverage? Nice. When might that happen?


February 23, 2010, 2:07 pm

re: jopey. I'm the opposite! - I'm hoping that my terrible T-Mobile reception at home suddenly goes better sharing the Orange network; my wife is on Orange and it's definitely better. Hopefully this will happen very quickly but suspect we might have to be patient.


February 23, 2010, 3:41 pm

Sorry to ask such a basic question: are they getting rid of one of the brands and keeping the other, or are they maintaining separate identities?


February 23, 2010, 4:35 pm

I'm in the same boat as you Kevin. Orange has perfect 3G signal in my area and T-Mobile is terrible. Locked into contract until July though. If this means they fix the problem i'll stay with them depending on what they offer.


February 24, 2010, 10:56 pm

@Joe they are going to merge them but that will take a couple of years to do

and 3 mobile have an agreement with orange not t-mobile


February 24, 2010, 11:35 pm

@Jay to be clear 3 does actually have an agreement with T-Mobile not Orange.

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