‘Orange and T-Mobile will continue as leading brands’ in the UK mobile market it was confirmed today as the recently merged mobile networks unveiled the new name for their joint venture – Everything Everywhere.
The announcement of the new name follows the official merger of the two UK mobile giants in April. The merger makes the newly named Everything Everywhere the UK’s largest mobile company, outranking current market leaders O2 and Vodafone.
Everything Everywhere claims that the scale of the new company will allow ‘delivery of best value, best choice, best coverage and best quality in the industry’.
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Orange and T-Mobile brands will remain
Although the parent company of the joint venture will be called Everything Everywhere, it has confirmed that the Orange and T-Mobile brands will continue to exist and serve customers, with each brand having its own shops and marketing campaigns.
Impact on Orange and T-Mobile customers
Which? met with T-Mobile last month to get to the bottom of what the merger means for existing and prospective mobile customers. T-Mobile told Which?:
- The two brands will continue to operate independently. Customers of the respective brands should continue to use the same customer service centres as they always have done – if someone calls the ‘other’ brand in error, they will be transferred over to their own brand’s service centre for appropriate support.
- There will be no enforced customer transfers from one brand to the other.
- T-Mobile and Orange customers will see no visible changes at all until the end of the summer at the earliest. In September or October, there are likely to be some changes to customers’ small print as the terms and conditions of the two brands are brought in line with each other. If these changes cause significant material detriment to a customer, the customer will be free to break their contract and leave.
- There may also be some changes to tariffs in September or October – however this will only affect new Orange or T-Mobile customers. Existing customers will remain on their current tariffs by default.
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UK’s biggest mobile network
Everything Everywhere says that the tie-up of the two mobile networks is creating ‘the country’s biggest and best mobile network’. Its ambition is to combine both the Orange and T-Mobile networks and create a single super-network.
It says that the first steps in this process will happen later this year, with customers of the respective brands being able to roam across the other brand’s network at no additional cost.
Five years before we reap full network benefits
The newly joined mobile company claims the merger will result in better coverage for mobile users on its network, while reducing the number of stations and sites by cutting down on unnecessary duplication.
But, warns Which? mobile services expert Ceri Stanaway, don’t expect to see immediate results. ‘Full merger of two established and large mobile networks is a huge and complicated exercise and won’t happen overnight’, she says.
‘When we met with T-Mobile last month, it told us although there are likely to be small interim improvements, it will take around five years for full network consolidation.’
She continues: ‘It also remains to be seen whether Everything Everywhere will live up to its grand promises of ‘brilliant service’, with ‘the best-trained and motivated people helping customers’. At present customer service levels among mobile service providers leave something to be desired, with most mobile networks achieving just three out of a possible five stars for customer service in the latest Which? mobile satisfaction survey.’
Discover how Orange and T-Mobile currently measure up to rivals for value, coverage and customer service in the Which? review of the best mobile network.
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