T-Mobile and Orange are poised to merge to create the UK’s largest mobile phone network.
According to reports, France Telecom, Orange’s parent company, is currently conducting exclusive talks with T-Mobile’s owner over a deal.
Should an agreement be reached, the new company would be the market leader in the UK with a market share of 37 per cent – equating to some 28.4 million customers.
A statement from the two mobile phone companies said that a merger would "bring substantial benefits to UK customers", among them better coverage and new and improved services.
The deal would also result in cost savings of £3.5 billion from efficiencies, it is forecast.
Gervais Pellissier, finance director of France Telecom said: “By combining our operations in the UK, we anticipate the long-awaited consolidation in one of Europe’s most competitive markets, thereby creating a well positioned player.”
Under the mooted plan, both the T-Mobile and Orange brands are to be retained for at least another 18 months.