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T-Mobile & Orange Merge UK Operations

Gordon Kelly


We didn't really see this one coming...

T-Mobile and Orange have announced today that they plan to merge their UK operations resulting in a massive joint company with 28.4m customers and 37 per cent market share. This would dwarf current leaders Vodafone and O2 which have 24.7 per cent and 27.7 per cent respectively.

"We will become market leader - our customers will benefit in many ways, for example from the best mobile broadband offer in Britain," said Deutsche Telekom {T-Mobile owner} CFO Timotheus Höttges. "In the second-biggest market in Europe, which is undoubtedly one of the toughest and most competitive, we are giving T-Mobile UK a clear and strong future. And, with our partnership, we have taken the most value enhancing strategy for Deutsche Telekom and its shareholders."

"By combining our operations in the UK, we anticipate the long-awaited consolidation in one of Europe's most competitive markets, thereby creating a well positioned player," added France Telecom {Orange owner} CFO Gervais Pellissier. "This will reinforce fair competition and will provide strong benefits for our customers through improved coverage, quality of service and an enhanced capacity to develop new services and technologies. Our shareholders will benefit from higher profitability and an immediate cash flow per share accretion without impacting the overall indebtedness of the parent companies."

In practical terms, subject to approval, the two brands will remain separate for 18 months while they decide how to market the new business. Orange CEO Tom Alexander will head up the venture with T-Mobile UK CEO Richard Moat its COO. Costs of merging the duo is measured at roughly £600-£800m, but that it easily counteracted by claims of long term cost savings close to £3.5bn.

So a new giant is born. What will O2, Vodafone and little 3 do now...?


Orange Press Release

T-Mobile Press Release


September 8, 2009, 7:09 pm

Two wrongs don't make a right.

Hopefully this will encourage Orange to adopt much more competitive talk and data plans - which I have always found vastly overpriced compared to the likes of O2 and even Vodafone.

I was looking at joining Orange recently and ready to sign an 18 month contract, on 1 proviso; that they match my current O2 deal on 600 mins & Texts & unlimited data. Not only could they not match it - the arrogant call center staff couldn't even be bothered to negotiate - totally disinterested in doing any deal. Must admit that I was pretty surprised by their stance.

Still, i'm happy on the 02 simplicity for now.


September 8, 2009, 7:32 pm

I left Orange owing to utterly disgraceful customer service. I'm glad I didn't switch to T-Mobile!


September 8, 2009, 9:45 pm

'tis a sad day for T-mobile customers, Orange have got the worst customer service I've had to endure.

Was hoping 02 would get the deal, my iPhone is begging for 3G coverage at work :(


September 8, 2009, 10:22 pm

Well my T-mobile contract runs out in November so that may be the last 18 month contract i sign with them. My opinion of Orange is that has always been the worst and most over priced network out there. Fingers crossed they keep all the good things about T-Mobile or maybe over to Three i go.

Mark Horton

September 8, 2009, 11:15 pm

Can't believe this, probably the worst company to merge with. I've been a very very happy T-Mobile customer for more than 3 years now, and an Orange customer for only 1 year before that, the two cannot be compared. Orange is shocking!!!!

Price plans are overpriced; data plans are the worst across all the networks and don&#8217t get me started on their so called customer service staff. My T-Mobile contract runs out in November and they are going to have to go a long way to keep me as a customer.


September 9, 2009, 12:46 am

@ lifethroughalens

have to agree on the call center people... when my orange contract ran out i went in to see what special little deals they could muster up to keep me a repeat customer...well the instore staff claimed not to be able to do anything like that, and that i should phone customer services who might be able to help.

nope they couldnt be bothered and when I said that ill just go give my money to O2 instead, they basically said "ok bye".

not even a thank you for being a customer lol!


September 9, 2009, 4:36 pm

'poor little 3', are probly quite happy, as afaik they share 2g coverage with Orange, and 3g with T-Mobile...so now they'll just have the one company to 'share' with.

Having been a customer of both, Orange were good (introducing windows mobile phones etc), but then they missed having a number of decent handsets (often blamed on the line 2 requirement or other software bodging), they then missed the whole mobile data thing completley and still can't price it properly (despite buying freeserve), and finally they went mental with crappy tariffs named after daft animals.

No probs with T-Mobile so far, decent tarrifs and phone range. But I do hope that the new company takes more of T-Mobiles approach to tarrifs, phones and data...Orange seem to be activly making their products more and more unappealing. The only reason I can see to be a current Orange customer, is there Orange Wednesday cinema deal!


September 9, 2009, 9:10 pm

I switched away from Orange for internet after being unhappy with the service. However I recently switched to Orange for my mobile contract and, while I may be in the minority, I'm actually fairly happy so far. Their advertised smartphone contracts were no worse than the competition - certainly better than O2's spectacularly bad value iPhone contract - and when I phoned them they offered me a much better deal than the advertised contract without my having to haggle. In contrast, 3 made it very difficult for me to end my contract, and yet at the same time showed no interest in retaining my custom; their Retentions people endlessly repeating the mantra of free Skype, while refusing to offer me any real incentive in minutes, texts, data, contract length etc.

I will however admit that once you are a customer, Orange's customer service is as mediocre as ever (although no worse than 3 or O2 in my experience). I suspect this merger will result in cheaper tariffs but the same or worse service; I hope I'm wrong about the latter.

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