Orange seeks boost from untapped markets

Orange seeks boost from untapped markets

17 JAN 2013

France Telecom-owned Orange has launched a division to look at new business opportunities outside of its operator footprint as it looks to boost revenue and customer loyalty.

Options being considered by Orange Horizons include MVNO launches, online and physical stores for telecom equipment and services, and online media content.

The company said the division will make use of the Orange brand and existing group assets to generate new revenue sources and improve customer loyalty without the need for significant investment.

The current Orange footprint covers around 10 percent of the world’s population but the brand has extended its reach through sponsorship deals with the Euro 2012 and the African Cup of Nations football tournaments. Orange Horizons is therefore designed to harness untapped market potential in these “Orange influence zones”.

“Due to traditional migratory flows or cultural and professional ties, there are many countries where Orange is already very well-known despite not having an operational presence. We think there is strong potential to create a new source of revenues in these countries by leveraging awareness of the brand to propose very simple mass-market offers,” said Elie Girard, senior executive VP of strategy and international development.

Orange-branded e-commerce websites selling mobile phones, tablets and accessories have already gone live in Italy and South Africa. The online stores will soon offer mobile services for Orange customers visiting from abroad, including airtime and data packages.

Orange has also launched a website with news, sport and audiovisual content tailored for the South African audience.

Orange Horizons plans to launch other business ventures in Europe and Africa during 2013 and is looking at potential opportunities in South America through the France Telecom-owned starMedia internet portal.

In October 2012, Orange announced it would cut its shareholder dividend for 2012 and 2013 and warned it faced a “deteriorating macro-economic outlook, strong competition in the French mobile market and continued regulatory pressure”.

Group revenue for the third quarter of 2012 dropped by 3.5 percent with sales in France — around half of the group’s total — declining by 5.4 percent.

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Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

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