The deal that will see Orange and T-Mobile merged in the UK to form the biggest mobile phone operator has been finalised.

Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom have now signed the final agreement to combine their respective UK operations into a 50:50 joint venture company.

The companies say that completion is conditional on relevant authorities approval and is expected in the first half of 2010.

Timotheus Hottges, the CFO of Deutsche Telekom says the joint venture "will set new standards as the number one in the UK mobile market".