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3 selects Orange as new national roaming partner

10 May 2006

London - 10 May 2006-3, the mobile media company, today announced that it has entered into a national roaming agreement with Orange.

The new agreement follows the completion of an auction for 3's national roaming business. All potential suppliers were evaluated prior to the auction and those that met 3's requirements for the supply of national roaming services were invited to register. Orange tendered the most competitive bid for the supply of voice, text and data services and has been selected as the preferred national roaming provider for 3 from the end of 2006.

The 3 network provides coverage for voice, text and 3G mobile media services to 88% of the UK population and the new agreement with Orange, which has 99% coverage for voice and text services, will ensure 3 customers continue to enjoy the national coverage that they are used to.

3 customers will continue to roam on O2, the current provider of national roaming to 3, until the transition phase commences in late 2006. Following the transition phase existing customers' handsets will select the Orange network in preference to O2, although they will still be able to roam onto O2. Going forward into 2007 all new customers will only roam onto the Orange network.

Bob Fuller, CEO 3 UK said: "Following a thorough and competitive process over the last eighteen months, I'm very pleased to announce that 3 has a new national roaming partner in the UK. It was important we had a competitive tender and I am delighted with the outcome of the process. This is a good agreement for both 3 and Orange and will ensure that we continue to offer a great service to our customers."

Bernard Ghillebaert, Executive Vice-President of Orange UK said: "The Orange network is renowned as one of the most robust and reliable networks in the UK and it makes commercial sense for us to utilise this asset within the wholesale market. We will continue to offer the highest levels of network reliability and service to all of our 15million customers and look forward to a fruitful relationship with 3."

Under the terms of the agreement, when 3 customers are outside areas covered by the 3 network they will seamlessly roam onto the Orange network, where they will be able to continue to make and receive voice calls, send and receive text and multi-media messages, and access GPRS data services.

The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. About 3
3 is a mobile media company delivering a convergence of communications, entertainment and information to customers on the move.

The three areas which form the core of its business are:

  • Communications – including all forms of personal communications, voice and video calling; text, picture and video messaging; and mobile blogging
  • Entertainment – including television, music audio and video, computer games, and media publishing
  • Information services – including wireless web, access to the best of the internet and a range of news services
3 UK is a member of the HWL group of 3G companies, which include 3G operations in Australia, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy and Sweden.

Three facts about 3:
  • 3, a mobile media company, launched the UK's first 3G network
  • 3 has over 3.5 million customers in the UK and over 11.9 million worldwide
  • The 3 network offers national coverage for calls and texts, and over 88% population coverage for 3G services.
About Orange
Orange, wirefree and any other Orange product or service referred to in this release are trademarks of Orange Personal Communications Services Ltd. In the UK, Orange provides high quality GSM coverage to 99% of the UK population, and offers roaming to pay monthly customers on 393 networks in 156 countries and to pay as you go customers on 131 networks in 67 countries. At the end of December 2005, Orange had over 14.9 million active UK customers. Across the world, Orange has 57.9 million customers.

In May 2005, Orange gained the top ranking for customer satisfaction among mobile phone contract customers in the annual J.D.Power and Associates 2005 UK Mobile Telephone Customers Satisfaction Study. It is the seventh time Orange has been ranked top by the study. In October 2005, Orange won the Mobile Choice Consumer Awards - voted for by readers of Mobile Choice magazine – for Best Network Operator for the fifth year running. In the same month, Orange also won Best International Mobile Operator at the World Communications Awards. The judges said: "Orange is so solid, you cannot expect more."

Information about Orange can be found on the Orange website at www.orange.co.uk and media information can be found at www.orange.com

Contact information.

Press Office
Name
Press Office
Job Title
Division
Phone
020 3725 2339
Fax
Mobile
Email
media@three.co.uk