My lord the office was buzzing on Tuesday morning. Walking in dreary eyed and in need of a mug of strong coffee, I was met with cries of "Danny, have you heard the news?" A lottery win perhaps? A colleague getting married or becoming pregnant? Actually it was none of the above. The excitement was actually centred on the announcement that T-Mobile and Orange were joining forces in a bid to become a new super network. Ok so I might be exaggerating the hysteria a tad, but even so it's not every day that a telecoms story intrigues me as much as this one did.
Yet actually how much of a shock was this move? O2, Vodafone and even 3 have all been enjoying the good life far more than T-Mobile and Orange of late. This is largely down to the aforementioned parties successfully tying themselves to popular handsets such as the iPhone, HTC Magic and even the INQ1 (though 3 has also enjoyed great success with their various broadband packages). Of course this is not the sole reason for the merger, T-Mobile did of course bag themselves the mixed received G1, but O2 is a perfect example of backing the right horse, so to speak.
So what does this mean for customers of both Orange and T-Mobile? Well apparently improved coverage, both 2G and 3G as well as a better customer service. Presumably T-Mobile customers will also be able to enjoy two for one cinema tickets too?
While retail staff from both branches may be nervously chewing their nails in anticipation of whether they have a job or not - after all walk down any high street and the chances are you're likely to find an Orange shop in close proximity to a T-Mobile one - both operators claim that the merger will actually create an additional 19,000 jobs around the UK. What's more by joining forces, both companies will have a combined market share of 37% with a customer base of 28.4 million.
Critics may argue that such a move as this reflects badly on both parties, but perhaps the fact that both Orange and T-Mobile have managed to put their egos aside and combine artillery will pay dividends to them in the long run. Either way despite the transaction set to be completed in November both companies will remain as separate entities for another 18 months. No word on how, if at all, there will be a re-branding for this super-operator, though there's plenty of play on words doing the rounds on the internet. Our favourite T-Mobile Orange anagram? Terminable Goo. Either way the future may still be bright but it would also now appear to be a somewhat murky colour of Orange.
What about you? Is this a good move for both parties? Can you see other operators or even manufacturers following suit? What would you call the T-Mobile Orange hybrid?