Orange broadens its horizons
France Telecom eyes growth in countries where it lacks a physical presence
French telecom group, Orange, has launched a new subsidiary called Orange Horizons, to develop business opportunities beyond its operator footprint.
These projects, which will leverage the global reputation of the Orange brand and existing group assets, aim to provide a new source of revenue for the operator without the need for significant investment.
The initiative will include projects such as the launch of online stores selling telecoms-related equipment or airtime; the introduction of flexible travel solutions; or the launch of MVNOs.
The first of these projects has already been launched in South Africa, where Orange has launched two websites: an e-commerce website that sells telecoms-related devices and accessories, and a country-wide website, www.orange.com/za, which provides online content specifically tailored for a South African audience.
The launch of these services coincides with the start of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations, South Africa 2013 pan-African football tournament.
A similar e-commerce initiative has also been opened in Italy. These two existing online stores already offer telecoms and electronic equipment, and will soon also offer telecoms services including airtime for Orange customers visiting from other countries.
The Group plans to launch business ventures in several other countries in 2013 in Europe and Africa, and will also look at opportunities in South America in order to leverage existing content-related assets such as starMedia, a South American internet portal.
A wide-range of business projects will be investigated depending on the specific potential within each country. These include: e-commerce sites, and potentially even physical stores, selling handsets, accessories and electronic equipment. This could be extended to assistance corners for Orange customers visiting from abroad.
The operator will also consider the launch of over-the-top country websites that aim to leverage existing assets such as the group's two pan-continental web-portals StarAfrica in Africa and starMedia in South America, or content-providers such as Deezer and DailyMotion.
Orange will also consider the introduction of multi-country travel solutions such as data offers using WiFi or VoIP, aimed in particular at professionals or tourists coming from countries in which Orange is already present. The launch of an MVNO is also a possibility in certain countries.
During an interview on the launch of Orange Horizons, Elie Girard, senior executive vice president of strategy and international development, said: "Orange Horizons is a very exciting project that fits perfectly in the group's overall Conquests 2015 strategy. 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."