Updated It's all go at the moment in the mobile phone market. Just this morning, BT announced its wireless arm - which includes BT Cellnet - is to be rebranded O2. Now, One2One is to name itself after its German parent company T-Mobile - owned by Deutsche Telekom.
On top of that, pre-empting an Oftel report into how much mobile companies charge for users to call mobiles on different networks, both Orange and One2One are to bring out a new tariff that includes calls to mobiles on different networks as part of the "free" calls you get with the monthly fee.
One2One will charge £25 a month for its new package (we don't the name of it yet), which will include 100 free minutes to any number, although presumably still not a peak times. If the limit is overrun, the tariff for mobile calls on a different network will be 20p a minute.
We don't know how much Orange will charge as a monthly fee (both tariffs are due to be announced formally today but nothing had happened yet), but it will give you 200 minutes of free calls and then charge 29.5p for calls to other operators.
[update] Scrap all that. Reader Nicholas can kindly inform us that One2One's offering is called Everyone 100. The free minutes can be used anytime at all to anyone. Line rental is £25, extra minutes come at 10p a minute to One2One phones and landlines; 25p otherwise.
The Orange tariff is called Orange Business 200. There are other tariffs that offer 400 free minutes for £53 and 1,000 minutes for £117.50. Calls are 10p a minute with 35p for other networks and it comes with free voicemail.
Where did Nicholas come up with this top-secret information? The Carphone Warehouse September catalogue. Which if anything has ever demonstrated the idiocy of modern PR and media...[end update]
Vodafone and BT Cellnet, sorry O2, have said they won't be responding, but this may just be bluster. Oftel is expected to insist of a 20 per cent reduction on calls to other operators, and creating a new tariff is the industry's accepted way of making changes.
Whichever way you look at, we the consumers are getting a better deal. Also the issue of mobile calls to other mobiles on other networks have become increasingly important since world+dog now relies on the blasted things.
As for One2One's rebranding - we think this is a big mistake. One2One is not only quite a good name but also one in which everyone in the UK is aware of. The company is frustrated that it has spent heavily on advertising and offers some of the best tariffs in the market but has not seen a responding increase in customers.
It may have something to do with the slang phrase "One to none" that rolls so easily off the tongue but then the name T-Mobile is a bit, well, German. One reader has suggested it rename itself Five2One following from England superb victory against Germany in the World Cup qualifier on Saturday [all the goals were scored by Liverpool players].
By the way, just to remind you all, mobiles probably still cause brain tumours. ®