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andy (Offline)
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Default Orange UK and T-mobile UK to merge - 08-09-2009, 13:05

For some months, there have been rumours and speculation about the future of T-mobile UK, which seemed to be a bit in the doldrums on a smaller market share. Links with any of the other UK networks were suggested as possible.

Last night, there were stronger rumours growing that an announcement was to be made today, and this has indeed happened, with Google searches showing more news reports appearing all the time

So far, or on what I've read anyway, the final details aren't clear, apart from some of the financial aspects like debt and shares, and indeed perhaps they are still open to change as the process is described as exclusive talks.

It's said the networks will run in parallel for about 18 months, which will give time for decisions to be made about eventual branding.

This would still have to clear with competition regulators and so on, so it can't yet be seen as a done deal, though perhaps it will be less obstructed than a tie-up with O2 or Vodafone would have been
   
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PhotoJim (Offline)
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Default 08-09-2009, 14:14

Less advantageous, too, though, since they both run at 1800 MHz. The net benefit to the network would be larger if one of them had merged with O2 or Vodafone.

Still, presuming this goes through, they can concentrate on building their network a little more religiously now. It's been two years since I've been in the UK, but at that time there were noticeable differences in coverage between Orange/T-Mobile and Vodafone/O2 (the latter having much more coverage, I assume on account of the 900 MHz spectrum). There were places where Orange was better than T-Mobile (e.g. Braemar, Aberdeenshire) and vice versa (e.g. Lower Breakish, Skye), so it'll be nice to see the networks merge.


CA: SaskTel, Wind postpaid; Rogers, Bell postpaid iPad flex plans; US: T-Mobile postpaid data, prepaid voice; PureTalk (AT&T MVNO) prepaid voice/data; AT&T prepaid iPad plan

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MATHA531 (Offline)
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Default 08-09-2009, 14:42

New York Times article on this: http://tinyurl.com/n29lwg

One interesting line in there...somewhere it says in Britain competition is so fierce you can get prepaid plans for as little as 10; actually it should say you can get prepaid plans for as little as 0 (I think we can agree that's pretty little)....also it doesn't mention the ability to call internationally on mobile plans for as little as 3p through a third party provider or on one carrier 4p another 5p and another 6p....very hard to beat that.
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inquisitor (Offline)
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Default 08-09-2009, 17:03

@PhotoJim
T-Mobile and 3 entered an agreement to share their networks last year and later T-Mobile announced to shut down 5000 of their own basestations.
Of course the 900MHz band requires less basestations and so is cheaper when it comes to roll out comprehensive coverage, but after a merger of T-Mobile and Orange these guys will have 60 MHz of continious spectrum in the 1800 MHz band and 20 MHz in the 2100 MHz band! Vodafone and O2 have only ~12 MHz of fragmented spectrum in the 900 MHz band and ~10 MHz in the 1800 MHz band each, while their 2100 MHz spectrum amounts to 14 (Vodafone) and 10 MHz (O2).
I'm convinced, there will be antitrust requirements for this merger, forcing T-Orange to return some of their spectrum. Otherwise they would have a huge advantage in network capacity, which will become of relevance when LTE comes, since bandwidth on LTE will depend on the amount of continious spectrum.
I don't know Ofcom's plans on the digital dividend, but like in other European countries I can imagine, that they will combine the auction of 850MHz-spectrum with a comprehensive refarming of all former GSM-bands, so there will be more or less equal conditions for all operators.


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Last edited by inquisitor; 08-09-2009 at 17:13..
   
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Motel75 (Offline)
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Default 08-09-2009, 22:03

I think there's been a lot of poker-playing going on over this, but a merger of the two smallest UK providers doesn't mean they're going to retain that customer base if they merge. Funnily enough, it's rather like the merger of Vodafone and 3 in Australia.

ANother thing going on in Poland is that the Polish shareholders now explicitly want to exit Polkomtel (=Plus) but for the first time ever, "sources say" Vodafone doesn't want to increase its stake. I don't believe this for a minute. It presumably means they think the price the other shareholders want is too high. Of course, now that they won't be buying TMO UK, they might have more cash than planned to do so. http://www.easybourse.com/bourse/act...0133308-725527


Current DE: Vodafone, Netzklub; PL: Klucz, Virgin; UK: Giffgaff; US: T-Mobile; IT: Vodafone; UA: Kyivstar; FR: Bouygues; GR: Vodafone
Former DE: Vodafone, T-Mobile, O2, Blauworld, 01051mobile, Solomo, Lycamobile, Simyo, Congstar, Fonic, Edeka Mobile, Lidl Mobile; PL: Heyah, Era, Virgin, Sami Swoi, Orange, POP, iPlus, Carrefour Mova, Telepin Mobi, Play, Lycamobile, T-Mobile; UK: Vodafone, T-Mobile, Virgin; US: T-Mobile, AT&T, Lycamobile; CZ: Vodafone, Oskar; ES: Lebara; GR: Vodafone, Wind; UA: Vodafone; IL: Orange; TR: Turkcell
   
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Motel75 (Offline)
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Default 09-09-2009, 11:13

And now there's some speculation about the future of 3: Mobile Magazine


Current DE: Vodafone, Netzklub; PL: Klucz, Virgin; UK: Giffgaff; US: T-Mobile; IT: Vodafone; UA: Kyivstar; FR: Bouygues; GR: Vodafone
Former DE: Vodafone, T-Mobile, O2, Blauworld, 01051mobile, Solomo, Lycamobile, Simyo, Congstar, Fonic, Edeka Mobile, Lidl Mobile; PL: Heyah, Era, Virgin, Sami Swoi, Orange, POP, iPlus, Carrefour Mova, Telepin Mobi, Play, Lycamobile, T-Mobile; UK: Vodafone, T-Mobile, Virgin; US: T-Mobile, AT&T, Lycamobile; CZ: Vodafone, Oskar; ES: Lebara; GR: Vodafone, Wind; UA: Vodafone; IL: Orange; TR: Turkcell
   
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andy (Offline)
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Default 09-09-2009, 21:15

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motel75 View Post
And now there's some speculation about the future of 3:
3 has been rumoured to be in play even longer than T-mobile

There is an incompleteness to this report though. Vodafone and 3 have already made deals in other places, such as India. And describing something as Hutchison's strategy to exit from the UK somehow seems to leave out mentioning that they departed once, when they sold Orange here, then couldn't resist coming back.

They are right about Vodafone's competitive streak being aroused by rival acquisition deals though - think back to when Mannesmann bought Orange, then Vodafone really didn't like the idea of an Orange brand springing up in Germany and bought the lot.

Last edited by andy; 09-09-2009 at 21:23..
   
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Motel75 (Offline)
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Default 09-09-2009, 22:12

Quote:
Originally Posted by andy View Post
They are right about Vodafone's competitive streak being aroused by rival acquisition deals though - think back to when Mannesmann bought Orange, then Vodafone really didn't like the idea of an Orange brand springing up in Germany and bought the lot.
Funny how that is. Vodafone owned 30 percent of Mannesmann, who then went and bought Orange, one of Vodafone's competitors. This pissed Chris Gent off, a lot, as Mannesmann did it without asking. So Vodafone bought Mannesmann, and subsequently owned Orange outright. Of course, they had to divest it, so they sold it to a company that was a) willing to pay in cash and b) was probably not going to be a very good competitor; step forward, France Telecom (remember that Orange was previously thought of as a highly innovative company; t the time, the Economist urged Voda to sell Vodafone and brand everything else Orange instead!). So Orange has been owned by Hutchison, Mannesmann, Vodafone, and FT, and soon to be sort-of owned by Deutsche Telekom as well; that makes everyone except for O2...

But you are right, there have been several deals between Hutch and Voda over the years, and they've been trying to dump 3 for some time. So it seems likely that something could happen. I think Voda would be better off buying Plus in Poland, now that it's being practically handed to them, and slowly accumulating shares in Vivendi and Verizon for the day of reckoning with these irksome joint-venture "partners".


Current DE: Vodafone, Netzklub; PL: Klucz, Virgin; UK: Giffgaff; US: T-Mobile; IT: Vodafone; UA: Kyivstar; FR: Bouygues; GR: Vodafone
Former DE: Vodafone, T-Mobile, O2, Blauworld, 01051mobile, Solomo, Lycamobile, Simyo, Congstar, Fonic, Edeka Mobile, Lidl Mobile; PL: Heyah, Era, Virgin, Sami Swoi, Orange, POP, iPlus, Carrefour Mova, Telepin Mobi, Play, Lycamobile, T-Mobile; UK: Vodafone, T-Mobile, Virgin; US: T-Mobile, AT&T, Lycamobile; CZ: Vodafone, Oskar; ES: Lebara; GR: Vodafone, Wind; UA: Vodafone; IL: Orange; TR: Turkcell
   
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