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Everything Everywhere to begin 3G mobile broadband sharing deal
The first customers on T-Mobile and Orange will be able to access each other's networks from next week.Orange and T-Mobile customers are set to benefit from enhanced 3G mobile broadband coverage thanks to a network sharing deal between the Everything Everywhere partners.
The agreement, announced last year, originally allowed subscribers to make use of each carrier's infrastructure to send texts and make calls.
From next week, the deal will be extended to include 3G signals, meaning faster mobile broadband speeds are set to be on offer in more places and at no extra cost.
Dubbed the 'big 3G switch-on', the process will be rolled out to Everything Everywhere's 27 million customers over the coming months on a region-by-region basis.
Chief executive of Everything Everywhere Olaf Swantee described the move as a "significant achievement", adding it represents the latest stage in the company's commitment to "provide more things to more people in more places than any other company in Britain".
"Customers are always on the move and demanding instant access to information wherever they are," he remarked.
"Not only will customers be able to talk in places they weren't able to before, they'll also now be able to access the internet, social networks or download emails at improved speeds, in more places."
While this deployment will take months to reach some areas, residents in one part of Cornwall are already benefitting from faster mobile broadband thanks to a pilot scheme between Everything Everywhere and BT.
The two telecoms firms have linked up to trial super-fast 4G services in St Newlyn and Newquay, with 100 mobile and 100 fixed-line subscribers taking part in the project.
By conducting the tests until early 2012, the companies are hoping to ascertain whether 4G mobile broadband represents a viable alternative to fixed connections, particularly for consumers living in rural parts of the country.
According to Everything Everywhere and BT, the initiative represents the first live trial of 4G services to customers in the UK.