Vodafone UK considering buying T-Mobile UK

In a move that would forge the largest mobile phone operator in Britain, Vodafone's UK branch is looking at potentially buying the United Kingdom wing of T-Mobile, as the Times Online is reporting. This move comes after T-Mobile UK was placed out on the market for purchase by its parent company, Deutsche Telekom.

In terms of mobile phone operators, T-Mobile UK is relatively small; the value of it is "between £2.5 billion and £3.4 billion" and it currently holds a market share of 15 percent. This is 10 percent less of that which Vodafone UK holds, so the merger would create a company that commands an admirable 40 percent of British mobile phones. There are two ways that this could progress; the first of which is a joint venture, which regulators would have to approve or they could choose to proceed with a total acquisition of the firm. Analysts say that a consolidation is likely with Vodafone, as they have previously stated they are constantly vigilant of opportunities of this sort, and Vodafone Australia has recently merged with Hutchison Whampoa.

Unfortunately, both T-Mobile UK and Vodafone UK declined to comment, but it's rumored that the latter is still only considering the options, and nothing is set in stone. Regardless, this could affect UK customers in the near future, so we'll be sure to report any new information that crops up.

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15 Comments

This would just be so massive. I'm not a big fan of either network, but them doubling up would give them a massive UK coverage and would probably convince me to do a swapsie.

Well T-Mobile has less coverage than Vodafone...so in terms of actual coverage throughout the country it probably won't make any difference.

Such a buyout/merger has its pros and cons. It could mean lower prices, because at the moment they're losing customers and money and therefore won't be reducing tariffs anytime soon, but it could also mean higher prices in the long run because of fewer competitors.

well combined coverage would be larger, certainly.

Market share, more to the point is key here.

Would people agree with me that the market would essentially be split between Vodafone & O2 after this? 3-mobile are certainly the budget end of things.

What ramifications would this have for Hutchison 3G?

"the first of which is a joint venture, which regulators would have to approve (and any other options, really)" - Gramatically that doesn't make much sense...

tiddlie said,
"the first of which is a joint venture, which regulators would have to approve (and any other options, really)" - Gramatically that doesn't make much sense...

Indeed it doesn't; I'll pin that on not having had sleep for nigh on 24 hours (yeah, yeah, excuses) so since it's nearly 12:30 AM I'll fix this in the morning!

This would be massive but am doubting regulators would allow it. I'm with o2 and they have by far the best reception of all the networks. 'three' is a joke so it'll leave Orange, o2 and Vodafone.

bbfc_uk said,
This would be massive but am doubting regulators would allow it. I'm with o2 and they have by far the best reception of all the networks. 'three' is a joke so it'll leave Orange, o2 and Vodafone.


See I'd say Orange have the best coverage. But anyone who gets best signal in their area says the same. Iregardless of what their overall physical coverage is, most figures quoted are all based on population, not physical land coverage.

Yeah...at home, Vodafone is great (and it's what I'm on), but at uni T-Mobile appears to be better. I guess this takeover could benefit me then (...well, probably not as it would take years to actually merge the two networks)

Where I work, the building is smack in the middle of 2 cell towers. With Orange I got a good signal at one end and zeo signal at the other. T-Mobile was average throughout the whole building. O2 is the bet I have had, full signal every where....but....thats cause we have O2 repeaters in teh building :P

According to Q1 2008 data, the ranking of mobile networks according to market share (in the UK) is as follows:

1. Vodafone
2. O2
3. T-Mobile
4. Orange
5. 3

(The top 4 all have ~22.5% +/- 2%, whilst 3 is tiny at about 5%)

Edit: hmm, well according to The Telegraph, T-Mobile's market share is only 15%...but perhaps this figure excludes other companies that use T-Mobile's network (e.g. Virgin Mobile)

Soldiers33 said,
i used 2 think t-mobile was second largest after o2. You learn somethin new everyday

well, you're still wrong, vodafone is the largest mobile telecoms corporation in the world.

Bhav said,
According to Q1 2008 data, the ranking of mobile networks according to market share (in the UK) is as follows:

1. Vodafone
2. O2
3. T-Mobile
4. Orange
5. 3

(The top 4 all have ~22.5% +/- 2%, whilst 3 is tiny at about 5%)

Edit: hmm, well according to The Telegraph, T-Mobile's market share is only 15%...but perhaps this figure excludes other companies that use T-Mobile's network (e.g. Virgin Mobile)

Thats out of date. O2 is 1st now.

What about Virgin Mobile? Coz they don't have their own network, they "piggy-back" the T-Mobile network. So there's theoretically more than just customers of the named two companies affected by this.

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