Switching on Orange and T-Mobile network sharing

If you’ve seen any of my tweets yesterday (@anthony_ball) you’ll know that Orange and T-mobile have now allowed people to share their networks, so if you are on Orange and don’t have a signal, your phone will roam to a T-mobile signal instead. I activated it on my iPhone 4 and it’s working, but it wasn’t without a few hitches that just won’t fit into a tweet! Here’s the full story.

I saw a tweet from Conor Maples, the PR Manager for Orange UK (@conorfromorange) announcing that as an orange customer (which I am) you could now register online to roam onto the T-mobile network.

So I followed the instructions online (very easy to follow user journey – well done Orange!) at about 5.45pm yesterday and got the following:

  • SMS 2 minutes later: Thanks for signing up online to use signal from both Orange and T-Mobile. Just reply YES to this text so we can get you up and running.
  • I sent YES back straight away.

From this point on I couldn’t get a data signal for the life of me even in places where I usually have a strong 3G signal. Playing around with the carrier settings on the phone was fruitless. Eventually I got home and plugged the phone into iTunes, at which point I got the following.

  • SMS at 7.59pm (nearly 2 hours 15 minutes later): Hi we’ve made the update you asked for.

At this point I’m thinking that everything will have resolved itself, but no such luck. It’s about this point that the new moniker that T-mobile and Orange are going under “Everything Everywhere” would be more apt as “Nothing Anywhere”, so I gave up on it for the night.


  • SMS at 5.00am (11 hours 15 minutes after activating the service): Hello. Just turn your phone off and on again so you can enjoy calls and texts in even more places, using signal from both Orange and T-Mobile

Since turning it off and back on again I now am able to roam between networks and the data signal is stable again – a nice service, but the time it took to rectify itself was a pain.

So, a word of warning – if you are on Orange or T-Mobile with an iPhone 4 (or presumably other mobile phones as well) and need a data connection for business, make sure you only activate it when you are done working for the day!

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