LIVE FROM BROADBAND WORLD FORUM: Executives from Orange and Telenor discussed the opportunities that come from being part of a multinational operation, beyond the often-cited benefits in terms of reduced network costs through centralised buying.
Alain Maloberti (pictured left), SVP of network architecture and design for the French company, said that the expertise available across operations means that new launches can take place “without having to go through the learning curve – and that is something that is very important.”
“The fact that you are multinational means that there are a number of studies that you already have in some countries, and then when you start to roll-out in other countries you are immediately operational,” he said.
In addition, with a number of mobile players recently in the process of bolstering their fixed line operations, this ability to combine access networks also has potential. “Of course, that depends on the geographies where we have a fixed access network and mobile as well. If we have only mobile things are a little bit more difficult,” he said.
Berit Svendsen (right), EVP and CEO Norway at Telenor, noted that the ability to drive network efficiency across markets is key when it comes to bringing new users to data services at an affordable price – an ambition that is core to Telenor’s operation in Asia.
“You need to have a very efficient network across different countries, with the same standardisation, many of the same vendors. Of course, if you are not able to build efficient, cheap enough networks, then you are not able to drive the vision of internet for all,” she said.
But this type of benefit is easier to create in some markets than others. “I think you can do that in Asia, and Africa, but in Europe it’s a little bit different because all the operators have so much legacy. When we try to merge, you get a problem because you are trying to do something with very old technologies.”
This has led Telenor to explore other chances to drive down costs across borders – for example it shares some operations between its businesses in Serbia and Hungary.