T-Mobile and Orange ‘poised to merge’ Austrian networks
12 September 2011 | Guy Matthews
Mobile operators T-Mobile Austria and Orange Austria are believed to be planning a full merger of their networks in the country within weeks.
The two parties announced a partnership agreement in April 2011, relating only to 3G services in rural Austria. Sources close to the companies have reported that a full merger of all network assets countrywide, along the model already established in the UK with the jointly-managed Everything Everywhere brand, is imminent, although both parties have dismissed claims as ‘rumour’.
If a collaboration goes ahead, it will affect over six million mobile customers across the country. It will in particular boost 3G network coverage for all existing subscribers to such services, and provide a platform for the launch of future next generation offers.
In February 2011, Orange hinted strongly that the Everything Everywhere JV might act as a template for similar mergers in other European countries. At the time, Elie Girard, France Telecom-Orange VP of strategy and development, said more collaboration at network level between the two parties would ‘address new growth opportunities as well as operational efficiency issues’.
Meanwhile mobile payment start-up Buyster, a joint venture between Orange, Bouygues Telecom, SFR and IT services company Atos is to launch its online solution on September 13.
Buyster has claimed the service will break new ground by offering improved security for mobile payment transactions over the Internet. Its service, which will be free to use and available on all mobile devices, regardless of the operator, was initially planned to launch in the middle of the year.