Optus to take on Orange customers

Optus is preparing to buy the mobile telephone customers of Orange.

Subscribers on Orange's GSM digital service, which use the Optus network anyway, will be transferred across to become full Optus customers if the deal goes ahead.

InfoChoice is endeavouring to find out what the move will mean for subscribers' contracts and plans – we'll keep you posted.

The move comes after Hutchison Telecommunications, owner of Orange, confirmed it was in talks about the future of its Optus resale business.

Hutchison has 279,000 GSM customers. Analysts were not surprised by the decision, given that Hutchison's second-generation GSM service clashes with the third-generation (3G) strategy of its Hong Kong-based parent, Hutchison Whampoa.

The parent has said it has no interest in 2G mobile telephony any more. It is believed Optus is willing to pay around $A50m for Hutchison's resale customers.