The Orange and T-Mobile network share will kick off from 5 October 2010 it has been announced. The joint venture, unveiled as ‘Everything Everywhere’ in May, will enable customers to switch between networks in order to get the best coverage.
Customers will have to sign up to use both networks, but once registered, when their phone loses signal from one cell it will automatically switch to the other network if coverage is stronger. Essentially this is no different to how roaming works now, only it will be within the same country.
However, in this scenario, if coverage is very poor on one network the phone could drop the call. From next year however, this network switching is expected to be seamless and will transition to the strongest network automatically even mid call – just as a phone now switches between cells as you move.
Tom Alexander, chief executive of Everything Everywhere, refers to this as a ‘multinet’, which he described in a statement as, “a complex system of interweaving multiple networks, bringing mobile, wifi and fixed technologies together to act as a super network.”
Once this kicks off, Orange and T-Mobile, or rather Everything Everywhere, will be the country’s largest network, with over 30 million customers, nearly half the UK population.
Despite the merger however, Orange confirmed that its recently launched HD Voice service, will only work on the original Orange network for now. “As the plans were announced in late 2009, at the time of launch HD Voice will only be available on Orange UK in the short term," Orange told TrustedReviews. "As HD Voice reaches more mainstream adoption we fully expect T-Mobile customers to benefit from this innovation in the future”