T-Mobile UK and Orange UK have been entered into a 50:50 joint venture company, creating the UK's largest mobile operator.
The resulting company, which will create an estimated 19,000 jobs, will be led by Tom Alexander, CEO of Orange UK and who will take on CEO position here too, and T-Mobile UK CEO Richard Moat, who will be COO.
T-Mobile UK holding company Deutsche Telekom will also contribute T-Mob's 50 percent holding in its 3G network joint venture with Hutchison and gross tax losses carried forward of at least £1.5 billion. France Telecom would contribute the whole of Orange UK including £1.25 billion of intra-group net debt in order to equalize the value of the contributions to the joint venture.
So what does this mean for the new company's customer base of around 28.4 million, about 37% of UK mobile subscribers? Expanded call and broadband coverage, increased indoor/outdoor call quality for 2G and 3G coverage and better customer service with a much larger network of stores, say the two companies.
Both T-Mobile and Orange will also be breaking O2's exclusivity on the Apple iPhone and iPhone 3G, and this merger may strengthen their position in signing on to carry future models of the iPhone.
Not that we'll be seeing any kind of T-Orange logo hybrid anytime soon - the two brands will be maintained separately for 18 months after the transaction goes through.