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  5. Three and O2 merger: we answer your FAQs

Three and O2 merger: we answer your FAQs

Three and O2 merger: we answer your FAQs

The landscape of the UK mobile industry is changing underfoot. Everywhere you look, carriers are eyeing rivals for takeover bids in what could be one of the biggest transition periods for the market for aeons.

Amid all the changes, today's big news is Three's mooted takeover of O2, which has sparked understandable concern from their subscribers.

Here, we aim to answer any questions we think you're likely to have about how it'll affect you.

If you've got a question of your own, leave it in the comments section and we'll endeavour to answer it.

Three customers FAQs

Three mobile phone coverage

Will Three still undercut rival providers after the takeover?

For a while after the takeover, expect Three to maintain its tariff structure. However, it's unlikely to stay quite so keenly priced in the long term.

Three has been able to offer generous unlimited data allowances precisely because it had fewer customers (7.5 million) than rival providers and had more spectrum to go around.

Once the deal has swollen its customer numbers to over 30 million customers, the sums surely won't add up for Three and it's unlikely to be able to afford to offer quite such substantial allowances for your outlay.

What about 4G for no extra charge?

As with data allowances, the strain the influx of new customers has on Three will mean its 4G for no extra charge offer probably won't be part of the carrier's 'sells' in the long-term. But it won't go anywhere soon.

Will Three's coverage be affected?

Three and O2 will combine networks, which will mean much better, wider coverage.

What will happen to Three's Feel at Home roaming sweetener?

For the foreseeable future, expect Feel at Home to stay in place. But with O2's sweeteners coming as part of the deal, Three is likely to reassess its offering at some stage.

O2 customers' FAQs

O2 Telefonica

What'll happen to O2's deal sweeteners, such as O2 Priority?

We don't know for sure if the deal includes O2's string of entertainment venues. But if Three Ireland's takeover of O2 is anything to go by, they'll be part of the agreement.

Three Ireland also continues to operate the venues and the Priority ticket booking schemes connected to them. So there's no reason to believe things will be any different here.

Will coverage be affected?

See our answer to the same question from Three customers.

Will I have to get a new number?

No. You'll retain your old number

General FAQs

phone masts

Will my contract terms and tariffs change?

No. Everything will remain as normal until your current contract expires.

Will fewer providers and less competition mean prices go up across the sector?

It's undeniable that there'll be fewer players in the market and that seemingly immutable laws of markets should mean that prices head inexorably up.

But there are factors that could prevent that. The main one is BT's putative acquisition of EE.

Judging by BT's aggressive strategy since it entered sports broadcasting with BT Sport, it's likely it'll adopt a similarly belligerent approach to mobiles.

In so doing it could, in fact, drive prices lower for consumers.

Add to that the fact that the point of quad-play bundles is that they enable providers to offer packaged services to punters for cheaper subs and the era of mergers could actually prove to be fantastic for consumers.

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