Feeds

T-Orange merger approved

EU smiles on deal

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.