The newly united British divisions of Orange and T-Mobile today said they would switch on free roaming across each other's 2G networks on October 5. The optional service will let customers on either network use GSM voice and EDGE data should they be in an area where their regular service is weak or missing. It should improve T-Mobile's coverage in Northern and Western England and other parts of the UK.
Support for roaming on 3G is coming at an unspecified later point and will also extend coverage to 3 UK, which already has a deal for 2G roaming on Orange.
Orange and T-Mobile created their joint venture, Everything Everywhere, both as a response to T-Mobile UK's financial troubles as well as an attempt to create a stronger competitor to market leader O2 and mutual rival Vodafone. Although the carriers continue to operate with separate brands, the deal may have helped ease T-Mobile's receiving the iPhone this year.