Show Hide image

Everything Everywhere details 'big switch-on'

Orange customers can make calls and send texts on the T-Mobile network and T-Mobile customers can do

Everything Everywhere announced that mobile customers of its two mobile brands, Orange and T-Mobile, can now access its two mobile networks as the first customer benefit of the merged company.

Orange customers can now make calls and send texts on the T-Mobile network and T-Mobile customers can do the same using the Orange network.

The firm said that customers who want to sign up for access to both networks will benefit free of charge, with no changes to their existing tariff or call or text charges.

Customers register at or to receive an update to their SIM card.
From that point on, if a customer loses signal on their existing network, they will automatically pick up the signal from the other network where it's available.

Everything Everywhere said that it is launching a £4m joint Orange and T-Mobile advertising campaign on 11th October to let customers know the benefits from network coverage improvement.

Next year customers can expect benefits such as automatically switching to whichever of the two networks has the strongest signal while they're mid-call, and enhanced data and internet coverage.

Everything Everywhere CEO Tom Alexander said, switch-on is the culmination of a unique and hugely complex technical project.

"But the result is simple - our customers now get two networks for the price of one," Alexander said.

"That means 27 million consumers can now keep close to the people, places and things that matter to them in more places than ever before."

Getty Images.
Show Hide image

Is anyone prepared to solve the NHS funding crisis?

As long as the political taboo on raising taxes endures, the service will be in financial peril. 

It has long been clear that the NHS is in financial ill-health. But today's figures, conveniently delayed until after the Conservative conference, are still stunningly bad. The service ran a deficit of £930m between April and June (greater than the £820m recorded for the whole of the 2014/15 financial year) and is on course for a shortfall of at least £2bn this year - its worst position for a generation. 

Though often described as having been shielded from austerity, owing to its ring-fenced budget, the NHS is enduring the toughest spending settlement in its history. Since 1950, health spending has grown at an average annual rate of 4 per cent, but over the last parliament it rose by just 0.5 per cent. An ageing population, rising treatment costs and the social care crisis all mean that the NHS has to run merely to stand still. The Tories have pledged to provide £10bn more for the service but this still leaves £20bn of efficiency savings required. 

Speculation is now turning to whether George Osborne will provide an emergency injection of funds in the Autumn Statement on 25 November. But the long-term question is whether anyone is prepared to offer a sustainable solution to the crisis. Health experts argue that only a rise in general taxation (income tax, VAT, national insurance), patient charges or a hypothecated "health tax" will secure the future of a universal, high-quality service. But the political taboo against increasing taxes on all but the richest means no politician has ventured into this territory. Shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander has today called for the government to "find money urgently to get through the coming winter months". But the bigger question is whether, under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour is prepared to go beyond sticking-plaster solutions. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.