France Télécom and Deutsche Telecom Plan UK Mobile JV
Deutsche Telekom and France T
The combined company will have around 28.4 million customers, or around 37 percent of U.K. mobile subscribers, they said, putting it ahead of current market leader Vodafone U.K., which reported 18.6 million subscribers at the end of June.
In merging their U.K. mobile operations, Deutsche Telekom and France T
The companies said the merger will bring them closer to customers because they will have more stores and customer service staff -- but closing some of these stores and "optimizing" the number of customer service staff is key to their cost-cutting plan.
They also said that combining their networks will improve service coverage for customers -- yet they also plan to decommission mobile transmitter sites to cut costs. The U.K.'s five mobile network operators, T-Mobile, Orange, Vodafone, O2 and 3, all operate 3G (third-generation) networks in the 2100MHz band. In addition, Vodafone and O2 operate GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) networks primarily in the 900MHz band, while T-Mobile and Orange have GSM networks operating at 1800MHz. Typically, the 900MHz signals used by the future joint venture's rivals have longer reach and penetrate buildings better.
The work of closing stores, decommissioning transmitters and rationalizing operations will cost between
Against that, the companies expect to save around
Another area the companies hope to save is on marketing, by jointly promoting their services. That will only be practical once they have chosen a single brand for the venture, a decision they do not plan to take for at least 18 months. Until then, they plan to operate the T-Mobile and Orange brands in parallel.