Marketing gimmick or the beginning of a revolution in mobile communications? Today Orange and T-Mobile have announced their venture name, team and vision and its part exciting, part marketing guff.
Our biggest guffaw comes from the new creepy umbrella name "Everything Everywhere" which won't actually be used instead of either Orange or T-Mobile, but is the company set up to run both operators in the UK. Yes it's cheesy.
Of more substance is news the duo, which will have a monstrous UK customer base of 30.2m people (more than half the population), will continue to be run as separate brands with an arrangement to allow seamless roaming between them to ensure best signal reception.
There could also be environmental benefits with T-Mobile and Orange able to share their masts and reduce duplication. Whether this equates to a better service or the pair being less than the sum of their parts will depend entirely on your level of cynicism, but we'd be prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt until specifics are fleshed out.
The board will be made up of key personnel from both operators with Tom Alexander (pictured) taking up the reigns as CEO and Richard Moat as CFO and deputy chief executive. They will run a business with 16,500 full time employees (11,626 Orange, 4896 T-Mobile) and 700 stores nationwide (420 Orange, 293 T-Mobile). It's a giant and whether natural attrition will see these numbers reduced over time is unknown, but seems likely.
There remain questions still to be answered: will exclusive handset deals now be available to both sides? Will they use their presence to further unify the two networks around Europe or do we have a one-off enormous freak? How will it impact roaming, if at all? Is greater size really better service or is it eliminating competition?
Finally the move could well spark a scramble between O2 and Vodafone to buy 3 in an attempt to keep pace. Certainly it marks the biggest shake up in the history UK mobile telecoms and we're not convinced the movers and shakers have finished moving or shaking just yet...