Everything Everywhere, the UK partnership of Orange and T-Mobile, is about to bear its first fruit as customers from either network will be able to use the combined coverage from now on.
There are two sticking points though. The first is that you have to register to take advantage of the alternative network, rather than it just working straight off of the bat, which seems a bit strange to us, while the second is that the new service will only be for voice calls on the 2G network, rather than data on the 3G network - that will happen next year says the new company.
However, once registered you'll have access to the biggest combined network in the country once the project goes live.
Tom Alexander, CEO of Everything Everywhere said:
"This is the beginning of an ambitious plan to give our customers instant access to whatever they want, wherever they are - instant access to everything everywhere.
"From next month, we will give almost half of the British population the opportunity to use their phones in more places than ever before. As well as continuing to benefit from their existing network, Orange customers will be able to make calls and send texts on the T-Mobile network and T-Mobile customers will be able to do the same using the Orange network.
"This is the first major consumer benefit of the merger between Orange and T-Mobile, and it delivers an unrivalled and unique experience that no other operator can offer".
Alexander also talked of the organisation's vision of a multinet, combining "a complex system of interweaving multiple networks, bringing mobile, Wi-Fi and fixed technologies together to act as a super network".
One cool feature of the new super-network is that if you lose your signal on Orange, and you're in a strong T-Mobile coverage area, you can then pick up that signal, and vice-versa.
The plan, going forward, is for the call to switch networks mid-call to the strongest signal so you never drop a call ever again.
There are no plans to totally merge the networks at present, and bring everything under one banner (for example, don't expect to see Everything Everywhere displayed on your phone as a network) but the move does signal that the mobile giants are playing nicely so far, and that ultimately, it could be the public who benefits most from the tie-up.