Displaying items by tag: Orange
Telecom Review virtual panel discusses instrumental role of wholesale industry in navigating the crisisWritten on Wednesday, 22 July 2020 13:28
Telecom Review, the leading global telecoms news platform, held a virtual panel on 21 July, attended by 346 participants, to discuss the latest and most pressing issues in the wholesale and capacity space. Telecom Review mobilized an impressively unique panel with representatives from Etisalat, MTN GlobalConnect, PCCW Global, Tata Communications, SES, Orange and GBI.
Following the success of its previous virtual events, the panel titled, ‘Capacity and data traffic: Enabling a seamless experience’, was held at 16:00 UAE time on July 21st.
The session was moderated by Founder of Telecom Review and CEO of Trace Media, Toni Eid, and the panelists included: Ali Amiri, Group Chief Carrier & Wholesale Officer at Etisalat; Frederic Schepens, CEO of MTN GlobalConnect; Marc Halbfinger, CEO of PCCW Global; Vaneet Mehta, AVP & Region Head- MECAA at Tata Communications; Elias Zaccack, EVP of Global Sales at SES; Cengiz Oztelcan, CEO of GBI and Emmanual Rochas, CEO, International Carriers at Orange.
The globally renowned panelists discussed the management of the sheer amount of data which was generated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of the cloud in ensuring a seamless remote experience and the challenges that COVID-19 posed to the wholesale industry.
Ali Amiri, Group Chief Carrier & Wholesale Officer at Etisalat, said, "Organizations were less concerned about security and remote working because of cloud readiness. Everyone has to be cloud equipped and this showed during the pandemic. This was really quite important that people could connect from anywhere and from any device.”
Frederic Schepens, CEO of MTN GlobalConnect, stated, “When COVID-19 hit our operations, we already had more backups and strengthened networks. In certain markets, we saw 30-35% growth. Voice also increased because people were calling each other to make sure everyone was OK. As an industry, we can do a lot of good to make sure we support all these changes with a reliable, robust infrastructure and also ensure that we facilitate the digitization process.”
Marc Halbfinger, CEO of PCCW Global, said, “The one thing that I’m certain of as a result of COVID-19 is that I’m not certain of anything. The situation has made forecasting an art form. We need to consider as many possibilities as may exist. We don’t know when this issue will be resolved or how governments will deal with it. COVID-19 has demonstrated that anything that is driving new age automation is necessary.”
On the business Impact of COVID 19, Vaneet Mehta, Region Head, Tata Communications, mentioned, “In terms of wholesale segment, we had growth in data traffic, on account of OTT content consumption. But the enterprise segment saw decision making getting delayed.”
Vaneet, was still bullish on the enterprise segment, in markets like Saudi Arabia, UAE and certain select countries of Africa. He also touched upon the recent news of the recent Tata Communications local telecom license in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Elias Zaccack, EVP of Global Sales at SES, said, “Without dismissing the severity of COVID-19, we are seeing is a lot of opportunities. One of those opportunities is digitization. A lot of countries are moving a lot faster to digitization. What we have realized is just how essential satellites are to the global infrastructure.”
“For many years we’ve been talking about digitalization, we also learnt that most governments are nowhere near being digital especially during the lockdown. We suffered a lot of time wastage in terms of organizing basic processes. Also, security is currently in the back burner because people are just trying to be connected. It’s a good time for us to think about this, but the market will demand better security eventually,” commented Cengiz Oztelcan, CEO of GBI.
Emmanual Rochas, CEO, International Carriers at Orange, said, “This crisis has been dramatic in terms of human impact. It also had a massive impact on our international wholesale business. We have experienced a very strong shift in usage in terms of our businesses. Our networks have either been emptied or overloaded. We have seen an increase in domestic voice whilst international voice suffered. We had a very strong increase in public networks due to increase in consumption of entertainment.”
Orange proceeded to land Google’s transatlantic Dunant cable in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, in the Vendée region of France, first and terrestrial stage of the laying of this cable.
This new 6,600 km long submarine cable linking the United States to France, posed by the company SubCom and scheduled to come into service before the end of 2020, is the result of a project combining Orange and Google. The Europe-United States axis is one of the most important submarine routes in the world with a need for connectivity that doubles every second year. Dunant will help to meet the explosion in Internet usage and guarantee ever more efficient connections for Orange and Google customers.
As the “Landing Party” and owner of the French part of the cable, Orange has completely refurbished the historic station in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, which was no longer in use, to house the terminal equipment for the Dunant system. This area is a strategic location, close to the main connectivity hubs on this side of the Atlantic. From this landing station, Orange is deploying terrestrial optical fibers in France between Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez and Paris to route its traffic on the Dunant cable to the capital's major data centers and will also provide service to the rest of Europe and major international data centers.
With this deployment, Orange will benefit from two pairs of optical fibers with a capacity of up to 30Tbp/s each, enough to transfer a 1GB video in 30 microseconds. Orange will thus be able to meet the massive growth in demand for data and content exchanged between Europe and the United States for several years to come.
Dunant will be the first submarine cable to connect the United States to France in more than 15 years and will be designed to combine the most advanced technologies from the world's various equipment suppliers. The cable will therefore be able to keep pace with innovation in optical transmission technologies and maintain its performance at the highest level for many years to come.
As a major investor in more than 40 submarine cables, Orange is committed to developing the quality of service of its global network. This new transatlantic project is one of the Group's many operations aimed at providing high-quality services to support its customers in their various uses.
Orange Jordan officially launched its e-wallet service, ‘Orange Money’, during a press conference which was attended by governmental officials alongside the company’s management and strategic partners.
The event celebrated the launch of the financial solution, which recently acquired the e-payment license from the Central Bank.
The company said at the event that the service operated by Petra Mobile Payment Services Company has completed all official requirements stipulated in Jordanian legislature.
Thierry Marigny, Orange Jordan’s CEO, said that the company finished registering Orange Money service last year to achieve the goals of Orange Group’s strategy for its subsidiaries in the Middle East and Africa which focus on many disciplines including automating, securing and easy payment services. He also noted that the group’s keenness to develop a mobile e-payment solution has enhanced Orange Jordan’s role as a leading local provider of premium technologies that enhances customers’ lives by saving them time and effort.
The e-wallet service will enable users to conduct financial processes anywhere and in anytime, with ease, Marigny added. He noted that developing this solution will contribute to the development of the digital sector, financial inclusion, all economic sectors and national economy as a whole.
Raslan Deiranieh, Orange Money’s Chairman, said that the company signed an agreement with Gate to Pay Company which has developed the e-wallet’s software and an anti-money laundering system, issuing pre-paid VISA cards. Orange Money also signed an agreement with the Housing Bank for Trade and Finance, by which the bank will settle the Orange Money’s Services and will enable users to withdraw and deposit cash directly from the bank’s ATMs, he added.
Deiranieh stressed that the company seeks to offer a comprehensive set of services not only for Orange Jordan’s customers but also for users of any telecom services inside Jordan via the e-wallet which enables the users to pay bills, transfer money, shop online, and recharge mobile prepaid credit.
Orange Jordan is actively contributing to the economic development in the Kingdom, Orange Money’s Chairman said, adding that developing the e-wallet service contributes to achieving the goals of the Central Bank’s Financial Inclusion strategy which requires collaboration between all concerned parties.
“Orange Money is a modern solution that eases life by providing high quality financial services to meet the different needs of users in the local market” Deiranieh said, noting that Orange Group has succeeded in enhancing financial inclusion in 17 countries by developing financial solutions that serve 45 million customers.
Hiba Al Shareef, Orange Money’s General Manager spoke at the event about Orange Jordan’s efforts to expand to e-payment services and how Jordan has surpassed other countries in the region in developing payment solutions.
Al Shareef noted that the Orange Money’s e-wallets will enable users to fulfill their financial commitments via a wide range of digital solutions easily and securely, impacting all economic sectors and the society as well.
Ericsson and Orange have partnered to launch 4G networks in Sierra Leone in the nation’s capital of Freetown which will be providing its residents with fast and reliable 4G access.
Embattled Chinese telecommunication vendors Huawei and ZTE have received a welcome reprieve following the news that two Spanish operators are planning on using them for forthcoming 5G pilots.
Orange Marine, a major player in the laying of new submarine communications cables and the maintenance of existing cables across the world's oceans, France-based Orange Group, has signed a partnership with Euro-Argo, the European branch of a global ocean observation consortium, to provide technical resources to launch free-drifting oceanographic data collection floats along its ships’ routes.
These floats, which have an average lifespan of four years, gather data on ocean temperature and salinity from the surface down to 2,000 m depth. Argo, an international program founded in 2000 by UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and involving over 30 countries, is the first global network for in situ ocean observation.
The network is gradually expanding, and currently counts a total of nearly 4,000 active floats, with an average of 1,000 deployed each year worldwide. The cable ship Pierre de Fermat launched the first float North of Cape Finisterre (Spain) during a maintenance operation in September. A second float was launched 500 nautical miles away, in the Azores region. A third float is still on board the ship, ready to be deployed.
The data from the floats are sent in real-time via satellite to a platform opened to researchers from around the world, enabling them to study the state of the world’s oceans and better understand their influence on climate change, and vice-versa.
The deployment strategy aims at providing homogeneous float coverage across the globe, so Euro-Argo is looking for opportunities to launch floats from vessels including dedicated research ships, racing sail boats, commercial ships, and more.
“This partnership with Euro-Argo fits perfectly with our environmental commitment at Orange Marine. We are thrilled that launching floats in areas with sparse coverage can make it possible to collect data that can help researchers to better understand oceans and climate change,” said Julie Zarade, Quality, Safety, and Environment Coordinator at Orange Marine.
Go Ignite, an alliance of the world’s leading telcos including Orange, Deutsche Telekom, Singtel and Telefonica, announced the winners on Sept. 11 of the second global search for startups that offer the most innovative solutions for three key technologies including Consumer Experience Artificial Intelligence, Connected Homes, and Internet of Things (IoT) Cyber Security.
Consumer Experience AI refers to the use of new technology to provide personalized or new forms of customer support. Connected Homes are solutions that use software and/or hardware to automate and remotely control home appliances with ease, while IoT Security leverages new technologies to keep smart vehicles, homes and cities safe.
The winners include Sparkcognition and NanoLock Security for IoT Cyber Security; Cujo and Vayyar Imaging for Connected Homes, and SafeToNet for Consumer Experience AI. The startups will have the opportunity to form business partnerships with the four telcos and tap into the alliance partners’ collective mobile subscriber base of over 1.2 billion mobile phone subscribers across five continents.
Axel Menneking, managing director of Deutsche Telekom’s hub:raum, said the telco alliance received “numerous applications from strong teams.” The five winners, he said, were able to “convince us with their ideas on artificial intelligence and security issues. The topics range from helping to protect children from bullying, protect critical infrastructure, and secure management platforms. I'm sure these teams will be doing good pilots with us and the other three telecom companies.”
The winners are attending a two-day workshop in Madrid to help them refine their solutions and sharpen their business strategies. In addition, each start-up will receive support including access to mentoring and expertise, co-working space and invitations to community events and networking opportunities.
“For us and our partners we have a firm belief that working collectively and in an open manner with the start-up community is critical to accelerate our innovation in these three key areas,” said Bertrand Rojat, Deputy Director of Orange’s Technocentre. “These are exciting times and we are delighted to be working with these ‘scale-ups’ to jointly deliver something truly remarkable to our customers.”
Go Ignite is an alliance aimed at connecting the start-up ecosystems across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. The Go Ignite global call for start-ups encourages teams world-wide to enter their projects into any one of the categories identified by the alliance to be of strategic interest.
“This marks the continuation of our strong support in working with startups and other telcos to find and grow the next disruptive idea,” said Mrs. Ana Segurado, Global General Director, Telefónica Open Future. “It´s open innovation initiatives built with partners such as Go Ignite that truly creates the right framework to develop the business of the startups.”
France’s Orange Group confirmed profits of more than that achieved in 2016 on a comparable basis in its Q2 2017 financial results. It was the first time the company has returned to profit in France since 2009. Orange said the strong results were driven by strong commercial momentum by investment and continuing efforts on the transformation of the cost structure.
“The acceleration seen in the Group’s growth was confirmed by the first-half results, and in particular the performance in the second quarter, driven by France, Europe and Africa and the Middle East,” said Orange Group Chairman and CEO Stephane Richard. “In France, we returned to growth for the first time since 2009.”
Richard added that Orange’s performance in Spain, and more generally across Europe, was “excellent” with strong revenue growth underpinned by a significant increase in high-speed broadband customers.
“The strategy that we have been following for several quarters, which centered on giving customers an unbeatable experience through convergence around the home and a quality network, is now yielding results,” he said.
“We have converted more than half of our revenue increase into EBITDA, demonstrating a good balance of growth and profitability. This has enabled us to reaffirm our objective of delivering growth in adjusted EBITDA for the full year 2017,” Richard added.
The company also strengthened its content offering in the first half of the year through the creation of Orange Content and the signing of a number of agreements with prestigious partners such as Canal+, its historic partner, and HBO. Richard said the company remains convinced that content is an effective tool for improving its offerings and keeping customers loyal while protecting value.
Orange’s revenues were 20.276 billion euros in the first half of 2017, an increase of 1.1% (+222 million euros) following an increase of 0.9% in the 2nd half of 2016 (+188 million euros).
The improved trend in the 2nd quarter was principally tied to the recovery in the Africa & Middle East segment, a continued strong performance in Spain and the return to growth in France for the first time since 2009.
The Group had operating income of 2.434 billion euros in the 1st half of 2017, an increase of 293 million euros compared with the 1st half of 2016. Operating income from the telecom activities was 2.462 billion euros, an increase of 321 million euros.
Net income was 830 million euros in the 1st half of 2017, compared with 3.323 billion euros in the 1st half of 2016. The decrease of 2.493 billion euros between the two periods was mainly linked to the impact of the sale of EE in January 2016. Net income from continuing operations declined 244 million euros. Excluding the impact of a charge related to the shareholding held in the BT Group (-349 million euros), net income from continuing operations improved 105 million euros.
French telecom giant Orange hosted the Egyptian Minister of Communications and Information Technology, HE Eng. Yasser ElKady, at its facilities in Paris, France, from July 17-18. Orange hosted the Minister to reinforce its presence in Egypt – a presence of “utmost importance” for Orange’s future development in Africa and the Middle East.
The Minister was welcomed by the Egyptian Ambassador in Paris, Ehab Badawi and by Jean-Marc Harion, CEO of Orange Egypt. He also met with several members of the Group’s Executive Committee including Bruno Mettling (Orange Group Deputy CEO; Chairman and CEO of Orange Middle East & Africa), and Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière (Orange Group Senior Executive Vice-President of Innovation, Marketing and Technologies).
“We are honored to host his Excellency Engineer Yasser Al-Kady at the Orange Group’s headquarters in Paris. The Group’s presence in Egypt is of utmost importance to our future development in Africa and the Middle East, and we have great confidence in the potential for development within the Egyptian economy,” said Mr. Mettling.
“This visit also reflects the Orange Group’s willingness to work with the Egyptian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology in order to strengthen cooperation between our two countries in a context that encourages foreign investment.”
The Minister visited Orange’s flagship smart store in central Paris and the Group’s innovation campus, Orange Gardens. The emblematic smart store was opened in November 2016 and showcases the Group's approach to customer experience, which is a key element of its strategy.
He also visited the Group’s new innovation campus in Chatillon, Orange Gardens, which was inaugurated in June 2016 by the former French President François Hollande. The 72,000m² eco-friendly site brings together more than 3,000 employees across all areas of research and innovation.
The campus was conceived to foster new ways of working to increase Orange’s innovation capabilities and better interact with the Group’s other innovation centers across the globe. During the visit, the Minister was able to witness first-hand the latest advances made by Orange as it prepares for the future launch of 5G networks.
The Minister also attended meetings organized with senior managers on topics such as opportunities for telecom operators in the fields of mobile money, energy or m-agriculture. Exchanges were also held on the Group’s efforts to support start-ups, notably through Orange Digital Ventures, as well on topics related to the B2B market including smart cities and cyber-defense.
As a result of the meetings, Orange is contemplating leveraging the opportunities offered by new technology zones, including in Assyut, to install customer service centers. Also, as part of the Orange Group's interest in supporting emerging, innovative companies, it was agreed to support and fund technology-focused start-ups in Egypt to help them to transform their ideas into reality while creating a sustainable business model.
French telecom giant Orange announced it has launched the sell-down of approximately 133 million shares that its subsidiary Atlas Services Belgium owns in BT, representing around 1.33 % of the share capital of BT, through a private placement by way of an accelerated bookbuilt offering.
BT will acquire up to GBP 200m in the placement of BT shares, part of which for the benefit of its Employee Share Ownership Trust, at the placement price. Such order will be fully allocated by Orange.
Simultaneously, Orange announced it has launched an offering of bonds exchangeable into BT shares due 2021 for a nominal amount of approximately GBP 520 million, at a premium of 35% to 40% above the share placement price carried out by way of a private placement.
Orange would initially retain a 2.66% stake in BT. In case of exercise in full of the exchange rights underlying the bonds, Orange would retain a 1.33% stake in BT.
The exchangeable bonds, with a maturity of 4 years (except in the case of early redemption), are issued in GBP. They will bear a coupon between 0% and 0.375% and will have negative interest rate after hedging in euros. They will be offered at an issue price of between 100.5 % and 100 % of the principal amount, corresponding to an annual yield to maturity of between -0.125 % and 0.375 %.
The exchangeable bonds are expected to be issued in principal amounts of GBP 100,000 per bond and will be redeemed at par at maturity (except in the case of early redemption).The holders of exchangeable bonds may exercise their exchange right at any time from 7 August 2017 until the 55th calendar day before the maturity date of the bonds. Orange will have the flexibility to settle in cash, deliver ordinary shares of BT or a combination thereof.
The underlying exchange property (being initially only BT shares) will be subject to customary adjustment upon the occurrence of certain corporate events pursuant to the terms and conditions of the bonds.
The final terms of the placement and of the exchangeable bonds issue are expected to be announced on 20 June 2017 at the latest. Settlement for the placement of the BT shares and the exchangeable bonds issue are expected to take place on 22 June 2017 and 27 June 2017 respectively. An application will be made for the exchangeable bonds to be admitted to trading on the Marché Libre d’Euronext Paris.
Orange will agree to a 90-day lock up for its remaining shareholding in BT, subject to waiver from the joint bookrunners and certain exceptions, in particular the possibility to sell BT shares to a strategic investor (provided that this investor agrees to be bound by a similar lock-up commitment) or to monetize scrip dividend.
The proceeds of these transactions will be used for the general corporate purposes of Orange.
The placement of the shares and the exchangeable bonds issue are targeted at eligible institutional and qualified investors. The definitive terms will be determined following the completion of the accelerated bookbuilding process. There will be no public offering in any country.