UK mobile operators call for UK competition regulation
Rivals use watchdogs to annoy T-Orange as much as possible
UK mobile operators, with the exception of T-Mobile and Orange, have called for the UK authorities to investigate the creation of T-Orange rather than trusting Brussels.
T-Mobile and Orange were hoping an EU-level investigation could wave the merger through smoothly, but everyone else wants to see as much investigation as possible, ideally both in Europe and the UK. This would be in the interests of customer service, of course - the fact that delaying the merger will cost T-Mobile and Orange dearly is besides the point.
The call to involve the UK regulator is hardly surprising: it's being backed by O2, Vodafone and 3, who all want to see
every barrier raised customer concerns addressed before the merger, which was signed in November, goes ahead.
The operators are calling for the UK's Competition Commission and the Office of Fair Trading to get involved, though they'd be pleased if any other paperwork-generating body would like to have a shot, too.
The creation of T-Orange will reduce the number of mobile operators from five to four, and with 3 already merging its network operations with T-Mobile, that means four operators running over three separate networks in the UK: which one might imagine would still provide significant competition.
More concerning is the accumulation of radio spectrum into the hands of one player: T-Orange will have licences for twice the frequencies of the competition and that could be increasingly important for rolling out 4th-generation services.
So once the preliminary threats and accusations are over, we can expect some sort of deal to emerge whereby the new company gives up some spectrum holdings in return for being allowed to exist, but first we have to listen to the operators claiming to represent consumers while actually working out how best to serve their shareholders. ®
I agree that the spectrum is an issue that needs to be looked at, however, this IMO is the only area of concern - any other objections to the merger are themselves anti-competative actions on the part of the other operators.
I do, however, also believe that a merged T-Mobile & Orange should be required to improve coverage rather than squeezing every penny out of the consolidation exercise.
Is it really going to be called T-Orange? Or, as I'm living in Yorkshire, t'Orange.
No it's not going to be called T-Orange thats just a daft name.
Instead its the first three from Orange and from T-Mobile its the last four,
Thus creating an ORABILE Network !!!!
I'll bet that it'll be called something pronouncable that looks like someone's pulled a set of random letters out of the scrabble bag, after chucking in four extra sets' worth of Qs, Us, Xs and Zs.
It'll also have a logo. Probably something that looks like an artist's impression of vomit going down a plughole rendered in pastels. We will be reliably informed that this actually invokes a sense of "synergy and communication" or somesuch and not the aftertaste of five pints of Kingfisher and a dodgy prawn vindaloo as everyone thinks it does.
Hmm, is that sandalwood or patchouli I smell and could you turn the sodding whales down please?
Say it how it looks
or Orange T... Which I'm told tastes horrible.
It'll all just become first Orange, then eventually Wanadoo as the deal is finally closed - because those Frogs will go to almost any lengths to piss us off (PS I love France xx)
Paris, because... Well, France.