Orange and its partner T-mobile have announced the formation of Everything Everywhere, a merger of the two brands. Photograph: Sang Tan/AP
Orange and T-Mobile have chosen the name Everything Everywhere for their merged company, though the two brands will still be used when dealing with customers. The new business plans to open some 100 retail outlets and increase its portfolio of Wi-Fi hotspots across the country.
The merger will enable T-Mobile to launch fixed-line services, and Orange is considering adding TV to its existing residential broadbandoffering.
As the year progresses, however, there are likely to be job losses among Everything Everywhere's 16,500 staff as the merged business carries out a cull of middle management.
The UK's third and fourth placed mobile phone companies announcedplans to merge last September and the plan gained regulatory approval following talks over its share of mobile phone spectrum, earlier this year.
Chief executive Tom Alexander said they wanted a holding company name that was more than the cod-Latin names so many companies use, while not being a traditional telecoms name either.
"What I wanted was a company name that did not distract or confuse from two very strong brands," he said. "What I wanted was something that was additive. I love Everything Everywhere because it really does encapsulate the vision and the ambition for the company."
"We are going through this revolutionary step in the marketplace where people are getting iPhones, getting Google devices and we have Microsoft's Phone 7 coming into the market soon. It's not just about voice and text. It's about everything else you can do on a mobile phone. People are even talking about apps down the pub."
"It's not some bland name – Orange and T-Mobile Company Limited or something – it is encapsulating what the vision of the business is."
Everything Everywhere will be used in advertising by Orange and T-Mobile as a tag-line rather than merely as an explanation of the company behind the two brands.
"Yes it will be on our pay slip and we will use it as a description of the holding company but we will also use it as a tag line appropriately. You will see it popping up occasionally," Alexander said.
It was developed by the merged company's internal team with help from T-Mobile's ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi and Orange's agency Fallon, both of whom are part of Publicis.
With 27,000 mobile phone masts across the country, Everything Everywhere has a larger footprint than rivals O2, Vodafone and 3, which already shares its network with T-Mobile. It has 713 retail stores and 20 concessions in HMV stores. At the time of the merger, Alexander said the company would rationalise its store portfolio but eight months on, it has decided to open several dozen more stores and add 50 new HMV concessions. As phones become more complicated, the company needs an increased local presence in order to help customers with their new gadgets.
"We have looked at it long and hard and actually we are going to extend our number of shops. There are areas in the country where we will open new Everything Everywhere stores: they could be Orange branded; they could be T-Mobile branded or they could be a combination of both, especially in small rural towns. It is not just selling. We also want to provide service and help to customers on the high street not just over the phone. As people can do more and more with a mobile phone … we want to hold the hand of the customer and show them how they can get more out of their devices."
Alexander is also looking at increasing the 173 Wi-Fi hotspots that T-Mobile already owns – in airports and railway stations as well as on the Heathrow Express, West Coast mainline and London to Brighton route – as the merged company looks to benefit from the scale of its business.
"We have the economies of scale to develop our capabilities, whether it's hotspots, fixed broadband, better mobile networks. We want to have core capabilities that we can leverage across both brands," Alexander said.
T-Mobile, unlike rivals Orange, O2 and Vodfone, has never had a residential broadband offering, something which Alexander said will be rectified. "I think it is inevitable that we will be coming up with a total communications package for T-Mobile customers. It is not something that is going to be launched imminently but it is something that is in our vision."
Also in the plan but not facing an imminent launch is broadband TV for Orange's 850,000 residential customers. "Television is firmly back on the agenda," Alexander said, after it was originally slated back in 2007.
As well as its new name, Everything Everywhere announced its senior management team yesterday, which comprises 13 former Orange executives and 10 from T-Mobile. Among the team are the three former Virgin Mobile executives who Alexander brought with him when he joined Orange: Virgin's former customer relationship director Andrew Ralston is chief commercial officer, Virgin's operations director Gerry McQuade is chief development officer and former journalist and Virgin Mobile press office head Steven Day is vice-president of brands and communications