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3G Operator 3 and Orange Hook Up for National Roaming
10th May , 2006

Europe UK : 3, the mobile media company, 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.

Bernard Ghillebaert ( inset ), 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.”

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.”

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.

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