If you've got a Samsung Galaxy S2, new iPad or a mobile broadband dongle and you're an Orange customer you can now make full use of T-Mobile's 3G signal as well. And vice versa.
Everything Everywhere, the company that owns Orange and T-Mobile has finished it's 'big switch-on'. This means that phones, tablets and mobile broadband dongles will jump on to 3G signals on whichever network if coverage is low.
The transition is seamless and basically means that Orange and T-Mobile subscribers get 3G coverage in a greater number of places.
If a customer’s 3G signal drops to around one bar of signal, the device will automatically switch to available 3G on the other network.
If no 3G coverage is available, then all Orange and T-Mobile devices will seamlessly switch to 2G and back to 3G when either network comes back into range - even if a customer is downloading a page on the internet.
Olaf Swantee, CEO of Everything Everywhere, said in a statement: “Smart Signal Sharing marks the completion of the Orange and T-Mobile signal integration project, which provides our 27.5 million customers with the widest 2G and 3G coverage available in Britain today.”
Everything Everywhere: HSPA+ 21 available to 95 per cent of the UK
Swantee added that while the big switch on is done and dusted, faster 3G speeds are now available across the bigger super-network:
“Our continued investment into the network, including the launch of 50 per cent faster 3G speeds through HSPA+, allows our customers to access the internet, social networks or download emails faster in more places than ever before.”
Rollout of HSPA+ 21 began on Everything Everywhere last November and now reaches 95 per cent of the UK population - safely above the 90 per cent 3G coverage margin Ofcom recently announced. Three has announced similar speed boost plans for this summer.
HSPA+ 21, also known as ‘3.5G’ is a bridge between current 3G speeds and forthcoming 4G services. Everything Everywhere is pushing to launch 4G this year on the 1800MHz spectrum of which it owns the majority of operating licences. Ofcom has yet to approve this, on the grounds that no other competing networks will be in a position to launch 4G until after Ofcom’s 4G auction.