2011 will be defined by network, network, network.
For the past two decades, billions of pounds has been spent building out the nation¹s networks. That has been only the beginning. And what customers have been served during this time has often been broadly similar in terms of coverage, capacity and speed - though not always. Some operators have started to struggle badly and recently have pledged to divert huge sums into patching up network problems.
But now, in a truly game-changing move, Britain¹s first supernetwork is set to be switched on and it will set one operator apart from the rest.
Quite simply, our customers will have access to more phone masts, with more capacity, than they would with any other rival. This supernetwork the merged former independent networks of Orange and T-Mobile offers unique and unmatched levels of quality and service. It is one of the reasons we called our new company which runs Orange and T-Mobile in the UK Everything Everywhere.
Because that's what we want our supernetwork to be able to offer. Already Orange and T-Mobile customers can share each others signal for voice and text services.
And from spring, that will extend to seamless calling between 2G and 3G services, as well as for high-speed data services. This supernetwork is the foundation on which so much of Everything Everywhere rests. Smartphones will continue to be the device of choice...and to use a smartphone properly, for data and computing services and voice you need a supernetwork.
Elsewhere, we will see the concept of mobile as an electronic wallet emerge as Near Field Communication (NFC) devices enter the market in 2011.
For Everything Everywhere, 2011 will be a huge year as we move from transition to deployment and really start to reap the benefits of our new found scale through synergies, investment and enhanced products and services. 2010 has been an incredible year, gaining early approval for our joint venture and completing a major restructure, while continuing to grow the business and introducing the UK's first national roaming offer only months after forming Everything Everywhere.