T-Mobile joins forces with Orange

Deutsch Telekom and FranceTelecom have agreed to join forces in the UK and T-Mobile will join forces with Orange to create the largest (by users) network which will control 38% of the market.

Vodafone and O2 (Telefonica) both lost out with bids of around £3.5b. The new network (T-Morange, O-Mobile?) will be controlled by Orange and the brands will continue to be separate for 18 months, then everything will come under the new combined brand.

It can be assumed that Orange and T-Mobile will work to combine network assets which could cause problems for 3 who have a RAN sharing agreement with Orange.

The combined networks definitely have strength moving forward, but they'll have to maintain their lead and offer some innovative services so customers don't migrate away. Hopefully they'll combine the best aspects of both networks, rather than the worst or they'll just end-up another has been.