Something tells me I missed an article or two, either that or Orange and T-Mobile opted to keep their merger quiet. A few people whom I talk to who usually are up to speed on the mobile phone industry even seem to have not caught on. The merger in May created a new company to oversee the new joint operations between Orange and T-Mobile. By merging, they have formed the largest network in the UK.
Back then, they promised customers that they would later in the year be able to roam across either network. This service will shortly become available. Providing text and voice roaming but 3G will not be initially available as a cross network roaming service. They expect this to be in place in 2011.
Technologically speaking the technology will operate almost the same as international roaming like when your on holiday. Albeit without the expensive phone bill at the end of the month! The company plans to have automatic fail over services available such that customers will automatically jump to whichever network is able to offer the better voice service even during a call with no interruption to general service.
As with any merger of this kind, it will take many years for the process to be completed and established in full. I phoned my answer machine the other day there, and it is still branded as NTL not Virgin Media! The company has however announced that the future will be full of buzzwords such as Best Performance, Best Value and Best Reliability.