Orange and T-Mobile splice customers
Inter-network roaming imminent
Orange and T-Mobile customers will be able to roam freely between the two networks from 5 October, as the companies consolidate their morph into Everything Everywhere.
Customers will keep their existing tariffs and contracts, but by signing up with their respective operator they'll be able to roam between the networks, ensuring greater coverage for all - at least until Everything Everywhere starts rationalising the combined networks.
The companies started merging their UK operations last year into the new entity. Eventually there will only be one network, and probably one brand, but facilitating roaming between the networks is an obvious first step.
And that step is now scheduled for 5 October. Customers will have to sign up (at special sites for Orange and T-Mobile respectively) but once they have their handsets should automatically switch networks when there's insufficient coverage from the home network - just like roaming abroad, only without the huge costs.
Calls made or received on the other network will come out of the existing tariff, at the existing rates - so there's really no reason not to sign up and start enjoying the additional coverage.
As long as it lasts - the point of the merger is, of course, to reduce costs, and that means removing base stations where coverage is duplicated. The idea is to create a cheaper network with greater coverage, eventually. ®
Is this the first step towards consolidation into a single national mobile infrastructure with the operators acting as bandwidth brokers in the same way utility companies do? That would seem to be the sensible way forward at any rate rather than the duplication of coverage we currently have...
Having reaped the benefit of contact with Orange's customer service,
I'll be Anything Elsewhere (TM)
Orange and MBNL
Orange joined MBNL
So all 3, Tmo and Orange subscribers will soon benefit from sharing their radio networks.