Displaying items by tag: Orange

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.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Orange contributes to oceanographic data collection

Written on Sunday, 22 October 2017 10:17

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.

Orange Marine has been committed to constantly reducing its environmental impact, particularly through its ISO 14001 certification. It is also committed to partnerships with organizations like Souffleurs d’Ecume, an environmental group based in the Var region of Southern France. 
Published in Telecom Operators

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.”

Orange returns to profit in France for first time since 2009

Written on Thursday, 03 August 2017 10:50

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.

Published in Finance

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.

Published in Government

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.

Published in Finance

French telecom group Orange is strengthening its corporate venture strategy by creating a new Africa section in its flagship program for investment in startups, Orange Digital Ventures. As part of this initiative, the Group is committing 50 million euros corresponding to half of the direct investments made via its new Orange Digital Ventures Africa program; the other half is devoted to indirect investments through specialized funding for Africa.

Orange Digital Ventures Africa is the Group’s investment vehicle for early-stage innovation projects in Africa in areas such as new connectivities, FinTech, the Internet of Things, energy and e-health. The objective is to target startups offering responses to Africa’s fundamental challenges while leveraging the operator’s assets on the continent. This support will concern all innovative startups, whether they are based geographically in Africa or they address African issues from another continent.

A dedicated team based in Dakar, Senegal will be set up next September for the program in order to respond to the startups’ need for responsiveness and simplicity. This new initiative underlines Orange’s commitment in Africa, a growth territory where currently nearly one of every ten inhabitants is an Orange customer, and its determination to always be a cutting-edge player in digital ecosystems.

It supports Orange’s existing open innovation initiatives in Africa, such as the Orange Fabs in Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Senegal and BIG in Jordan to facilitate partnerships with the start-ups; the network of partner incubators such as CTIC in Dakar; the availability of Orange APIs on the continent; and the Orange Social Venture Prize recognizing social entrepreneurs in Africa.

“Since the beginning of Orange Digital Ventures, the new services and business models in Africa have been one of the priority investment themes of our corporate venture business,” said Pierre Louette, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Orange and Chairman of Orange Digital Ventures. “With this announcement, we are engaging a bit further alongside the African digital ecosystem, which like everywhere else and maybe even more than elsewhere carries with it a development challenge.” 

French telecom giant Orange has launched its brand in Liberia in West Africa. From now on, Cellcom Liberia becomes Orange Liberia. The acquisition of the Liberian operator Cellcom was finalized by Orange, through its subsidiary Orange Côte d’Ivoire, on 6 April 2016, allowing the Group to reinforce its presence in West Africa.

In line with its Essentials2020 strategic plan, Orange has built up a considerable presence in this region, which offers strong growth potential and is a strategic priority for the Group’s development.

Following this rebranding, Orange Liberia will join one of the world’s most powerful telecom brands and stands to benefit from being part of a large international group. Orange will work to further strengthen the operator’s established network and enhance customer service in Liberia.

With over 1.6 million customers at the end of February 2017, Orange Liberia is the leading mobile operator in Liberia in terms of customers. Founded in 2004, the mobile operator has been a driving force in democratizing access to telecommunication services across the country, despite difficult market conditions.

It has always been a precursor in terms of network deployment and in 2012 was the first operator in Liberia to launch 3G (HSPA+) services following by 4G-LTE services in 2016. Orange will pursue this strategy and will continue to invest in the development of its network where the company is already a market leader.

With a population of 4.6 million people and relatively low mobile penetration rate (70% of the population) the country has a high growth potential for Orange. To support this development, the Group will work to reinforce the quality of access in several areas:

  • Investing in network expansion. For example, the construction of 39 sites in 2016 and 65 additional sites planned for 2017. Part of the plan is to accelerate broadband deployment and to expand 4G penetration across the country.
  • Strongly enhancing Internet quality by providing access to the Group’s submarine and international cable networks. Orange Liberia will benefit from two additional secure connection points in Abidjan and Paris that will multiply network capacity by four.

“With this new presence in Liberia, Orange extends its footprint in West Africa. The launch of the Orange brand confirms our confidence in the country’s ongoing economic recovery and our commitment to bring all the benefits of new digital services to Liberians,” said Bruno Mettling, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Orange Group and Chairman and CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa.

Mamadou Coulibaly, CEO of Orange Liberia, added: “Even in 2017, an important part of the Liberian population is still waiting for basic telecom services. We will invest significantly in network roll-out across the entire country, develop e-recharge in order to ease the constraints of scratch-cards loading, launch Orange Money, a new robust platform to boost mobile banking services in the country. We will as well introduce new highly competitive offers and low cost Smartphones in order to boost digital inclusion. We intend to position Orange Liberia by 2020 as a true catalyst for the digitization of Liberian society”.

Orange is present in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East, where it has more than 120 million customers. With 5.2 billion euros in revenues in 2016 (12% of the total), this region is a strategic priority for the Group. Orange Money, its flagship offer for money transfers and mobile financial services, is currently available in 17 countries and has more than 31 million customers.

Published in Telecom Operators

Orange is working with Facebook and Telecom Infra Project (TIP), a global engineering focused initiative that aims to transform the traditional approach to building and deploying telecoms network infrastructure, to support startups focused on network infrastructure innovation by launching a new “Telecom Track” as part of its Orange Fab accelerator program in France.

This partnership will look to pursue the best innovations and talent within the sector, and provide startups with support and counsel from experts at Orange, TIP and Facebook – while facilitating networking and internal and external investment opportunities.

The project will be managed through Orange Fab France, Orange’s accelerator program for startups at Orange Gardens, an eco-campus in Paris devoted completely to research and innovation. Engaging directly with leading experts from within Orange and its partners, startups will be able to work with the Group on tackling a number of network-related issues, ranging from network management to new access technologies, across a number of regions. 

The startups will receive all of the current benefits as part of the existing Orange Fab program, in which they will participate in dedicated workshops, mentoring sessions with experienced specialists, receive an optional €15,000 in funding, and have access to work space at the Orange Gardens, where the Group’s research and innovation teams are based.

In addition to drawing upon the global Orange Fab network, the startups will have access to experts from the TIP community, TEAC, and Facebook. This framework will help them connect to innovation teams, investment partners, and venture capitalists who can provide additional expertise and potential funding in order to launch new products and services. 

The call for projects has opened today and candidates will have until 14th May 2017 to submit entries. After three weeks, a number of startups will be selected to join the acceleration program, followed by the opportunity to present at an Orange launch event in June attended by Orange, TIP and Facebook executives, and partners and venture capitalists. Further along the acceleration process, the selected startups will be invited to pitch at a TEAC event being held in San Francisco at the end of the year. 

“As part of our network evolution towards 5G and future technologies, there is a huge opportunity to innovate at the network level, and a need to support the bright minds and talents that will keep pushing telecoms innovation forward,” said Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, Executive Vice-President of Innovation, Marketing and Technologies, Orange.

“We believe that with our partnership with Facebook and the opening of the new Telecom Track, we are able to encourage and support this community of startups, which has the ability to really disrupt this space and develop new innovation within telecoms.”

“Facebook is looking forward to working with Orange and TIP to support this start-up accelerator,” said Jay Parikh, Head of Engineering and Infrastructure, Facebook. “Working together, we hope to help identify and support telecoms network infrastructure innovation while helping pave the way for future breakthroughs.”  

Added commitment from Orange Digital Ventures

In order to further accelerate the scaling of the participating startups, Orange Digital Ventures will support this new “Telecom Track” and provide fundraising guidance and Venture Capital networking opportunities through its investors’ alliances. Orange Digital Ventures is already actively contributing to transforming the Telecom landscape through its portfolio of investments, and will potentially invest in the participating startups.

French telecom giant Orange Group recently launched its brand in Burkina Faso in West Africa. Less than one year after the closing of the Group’s acquisition of Airtel, together with Orange Côte d’Ivoire, the announcement demonstrates Orange’s ambitions for the West African market.

Orange will pursue its development in mobile financial services and 3.75G mobile Internet, where it was the first operator to launch and is today the uncontested leader in Burkina Faso. Its Orange Money solution for international transfers will be further expanded in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA).

The expansion of its optical fibre network will contribute to increasing its brand awareness as the leading provider of Internet access and connectivity to enterprises. Thanks to an ambitious network modernization plan and the strength of its parent company’s innovation capability, Orange Burkina Faso will bring an incomparable customer experience to its 6.3 million subscribers.

Bruno Mettling, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Orange group and Chairman and CEO of Orange MEA (Middle East and Africa), commented: “It is a great honor for the Orange group to inaugurate its presence in Burkina Faso at a time when the country is resolutely engaged in a vast economic development program. The arrival of the Orange brand testifies to our commitment to providing the benefits of the digital ecosystem to the entire population of Burkina Faso.”

Ben Cheick Haidara, CEO of Orange in Burkina Faso, added: “Today, customers in Burkina Faso are more demanding and the way they use digital services has evolved; we are at a decisive turning point in the development of the telecoms market. Our ambition is to continue the work accomplished in recent years in the mobile money and mobile Internet fields to make Orange the leading partner for Burkina Faso’s digital transformation.”

Orange is present in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East, where it has more than 120 million customers. With 5.2 billion euros in revenues in 2016 (12% of the total), this region is a strategic priority for the Group. Orange Money, its flagship offer for money transfers and mobile financial services is currently available in 17 countries and has more than 30 million customers.

Published in Telecom Operators
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