Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Improve your T-Mobile coverage by linking your account to Orange

Shortly after T-Mobile merged with Orange it was announced that customers of one company would be able to use the other's network. This is now in operation. Orange customers received automatic access to T-Mobile in October 2010. T-Mobile customers need to subscribe to the service (which is free).

You can do this here:

The reason for this requiring a process rather than being automatically applied, as it was to Orange customers, seems to be that some of T-Mobile's handsets are set to have data roaming disabled by default. Some of them can be difficult to switch to roaming. There is apparently no shared 3G internet access between the networks. Data roaming is required to prevent error messages showing up when you use picture messaging.

The sign up process identifies your phone and gives specific advice on what you will need to do. There is also a prominent warning that if you leave data roaming turned on and leave the country you will potentially get a massive bill. This might also be the case if you live near the Irish border or line of sight with the Isle of Man. In these cases it might be better to be cautious as you might manage to access another mobile provider with whom T-Mobile have a roaming agreement.

I have registered for it, but so far not been anywhere where my phone has switched over to Orange.