Feeds

T-Orange merger approved

EU smiles on deal

Security for virtualized datacentres

The merger of T-Mobile and Orange will go through, after the UK's Office of Fair Trading withdrew its request for time to investigate the deal.

The OFT wanted to investigate on the basis that the merged entity would own an unfair proportion of radio spectrum, and that once it had merged with Orange T-Mobile would have little incentive to maintain its network sharing agreement with 3UK. Now the companies involved have undertaken to address those issues, prompting the OFT to back out and the EU to approve the merger.

Specifically, T-Orange will be handing over 30MHz of the 120MHz the combined company holds at 1800MHz, and has signed a deal with 3UK which binds the new entity into maintaining the shared network.

The radio spectrum was always going to be a bargaining chip in the deal: assertions from T-Orange that it had no intention of handing over any frequencies were obviously placing those frequencies on the table. Still, giving up only a quarter of its 1800MHz holdings is hardly a crippling concession.

The spectrum is paired (two 15MHz-wide bands will be given up), so should enable someone else to deploy 3G, or LTE, in that band. But the details of how Ofcom will auction off the spectrum if it does so, and what T-Orange will be expecting in the way of restitution, remain to be seen.

The deal with 3UK was hammered out just over a week ago. No details have been made public, but we understand that a network-sharing contract has been signed directly between Orange and 3UK, which would prevent any desertion of T-Mobile's existing network in order to freeze out 3UK.

So T-Orange will be needing a name ("VentureCo", the internally-used name, is even less inspired that "T-Orange"), and the UK market changes from having four evenly-sized operators (and one minnow) to one dominant player with a pair of also-rans... and a minnow. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.