Britain’s largest mobile phone operator “Everything Everywhere” is set to retain both the Orange and T-Mobile brands as it strives to minimize the risk of losing customers to rivals.
Tom Alexander, Chief Executive, played down rumors that the company was abandoning the T-Mobile brand after a review that is slated take place next year. He added that they were considering a new charging model for smartphones under which customers in big cities such as London might end up paying more than those in rural areas.
Everything Everywhere was founded in April through a joint venture between France Telecom’s Orange UK and Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile UK.
The new company has quickly risen to become Britain’s largest mobile operator, with 28 million customers, but its first two sets of quarterly results have been disappointing. However, the disruption caused by rebranding could leave Everything Everywhere vulnerable to customer poaching by Telef³nica’s O2 UK and Vodafone’s British business.
Mr Alexander added that Everything Everywhere was likely to retain both the Orange and T-Mobile brands for the foreseeable future, although no final decisions will be taken until he has completed the brand review next year. He said Everything Everywhere had customers tied to Orange and T-Mobile brands. You’ve got big clubs of customers … if they are really happy at staying with Orange or T-Mobile, and they really identify with those brands, why would you do something really disruptive with those two brands?
Orange is expected to become Everything Everywhere’s premium brand, with T-Mobile focused on cheap mobile deals.
Before the joint venture, Orange appealed to affluent mobile users more than T-Mobile, which meant that France Telecom’s UK business had a higher proportion of customers tied to contracts than Deutsche Telekom’s British operation.
Mr Alexander stated that he was considering how he could persuade Everything Everywhere customers to pay more for using its networks for data activities such as web browsing. He plans to introduce charges under which customers would be required to pay based on how much data they consumed and the quality of download service they require. Usage-based pricing might also differentiate between locations. So customers in London, where there is heavy demand on networks thanks to increased smartphone penetration, might pay more than their counterparts in rural areas.