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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Type Private
Founded 28 April 1994
Headquarters Arcueil, France
Industry Telecommunications
Parent France Telecom

Orange is the brand used by France Télécom for its mobile network operator and Internet service provider subsidiaries. It is the fifth largest telecom operator in the world, with over 189 million customers as of 2009. The brand was created in 1994 for Hutchison Telecom's UK mobile phone network, which was acquired by France Télécom in August 2000. In 2006, the company's ISP operations, previously Wanadoo, were also rebranded Orange. Orange is now the unique commercial façade of almost all France Telecom services. Orange France was incorporated in 2005 and has its headquarters in Arcueil, France.[1]



It is a global mobile network operator:

It also franchises the Orange Brand in Israel (see Orange Israel) and has franchised it in Australia, India (until 2006) and Hong Kong in the past. It had a joint venture with Charoen Pokphand in Thailand until 2005.

As of 31 December 2007 France Telecom serves more than 170 million customers in five continents, of which two thirds are Orange customers. The group had consolidated sales of € 52.9 billion in 2007. As of 31 December 2007 the group had 109.7 million mobile customers and 11.7 million broadband internet (ADSL) customers.[4]

Orange also belongs to the FreeMove mobile phone alliance.



Orange (mobile network operator)

Microtel Communications Ltd. was formed in April 1990 as a consortium comprising Pactel Corporation, British Aerospace, Millicom and French company Matra (British Aerospace soon acquired full control of the company). In 1991 Microtel was awarded a license to develop a mobile network in the UK, and in July 1991 Hutchison Telecommunications (UK) Ltd acquired Microtel from BAe. BAe was paid in Hutchison Telecommunications (UK) Ltd. shares, giving the company a 30% share. Hutchison Whampoa held 65% and Barclays Bank the remaining 5%. Microtel was renamed Orange Personal Communications Services Ltd. in 1994. The Orange brand was created by an internal team at Microtel headed by Chris Moss (Marketing Director) and supported by Martin Keogh, Rob Furness and Ian Pond. The brand consultancy Wolff Olins was charged with designing the brand values and logo and advertising agency WCRS created the Orange slogan "The Future's bright, the Future's Orange" along with the now famous advertising. The logo is square because it was felt that the word orange could be seen as a fruit and it needed to be strong in the business world rather like American Express and Hertz. It was also important to establish it as the colour Orange, which is seen as a strong Feng Shui colour. The Orange network was launched on 28 April 1994.

Orange plc was formed in 1995 as a holding company for the Orange group. France Telecom formed the present company in 2001 after acquiring Orange plc (which had been acquired by Mannesmann AG, itself purchased by Vodafone shortly after, leading Vodafone to divest Orange) and merging its existing mobile operations into the company. The company was initially 100% owned by France Telecom (although there were and still remain minority investors in some of the national operating companies). In 2001 15% was sold in an IPO, but in 2003 the outstanding shares were bought back by France Telecom.

Orange (internet service provider)

Orange operates as an ISP in France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Kenya, Equatorial Guinea, Senegal, Guinea, Romania, Slovakia and Switzerland. France Telecom also operates as an ISP in Poland through its stake in Telekomunikacja Polska, which is now being co-branded as Orange. It is currently the largest ISP in Europe with over ten million subscribers (including those of Telekomunikacja Polska), largely concentrated in France, the UK, Spain and Poland, and was originally known as Wanadoo.

Wanadoo was floated on the stock market on 18 July 2000. In 2000, Wanadoo also took over the major British ISP Freeserve, which had previously been part of the Dixons Group (now DSG International plc). Following the buy-out, Freeserve maintained its own branding for a while before finally changing to the Wanadoo name on 28 April 2004.

However, the name Wanadoo changed to Orange on 1 June 2006 to simplify branding by the common parent company, France Telecom. This merging of companies has created a single brand offering mobile telecommunications and internet services.

Recent changes

In June 2005, France Telecom announced that its ISP Wanadoo and business service Equant would both be renamed Orange in 2006 to harmonize branding.[5] In July 2005, France Telecom announced its intention to acquire 80% of the Spanish mobile phone operator Amena, a deal that was completed in November 2005. Amena was also rebranded to Orange with Wanadoo in Spain and Uni2, a fixed line provider, to complete a "triple play".

At the beginning of 2006, Orange in Slovakia started providing triple-play services via FTTH under the name "Orange Homebox".

On 27 September 2007, T-Mobile Netherlands [6] bought Orange Netherlands from France Telecom and split the two segments. Mobile telephony was integrated with T-Mobile, broadband is now provided by a subsidiary called Online. The European Commission had already approved the acquisition as it was not seen as a danger to competition [7].

In 2008 Orange was given permission from Apple to sell the iPhone in Austria, Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Jordan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland and Orange’s African markets.[8]

In September 2009, Orange was the first to declare that they would be selling the iPhone in the UK once O2's exclusivity had ended. Vodafone announced that they too would be selling the iPhone in the UK. This however would be in early 2010, whereas Orange would start selling the iPhone at the end of 2009.

On January 1, 2009, the Swiss multimedia shops company CityDisc is officially property of the France Telecom Group and becomes Orange CityDisc, the first hybrid shops in Europe to sell not only cellphones and accessories but also music, films and videogames.

On April 5, 2009, France Telecom (Orange) won an Arbitration Court case against Orascom Telecom, condemning OT to transfer its entire stake in Mobinil to FT at a price of 441,658 per Mobinil share.[9]

On September 8, 2009, Orange and T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom announced they were in advanced talks to merge their UK operations to create the largest mobile operator with 37% of the market. It is unclear the future of either brand when such deal is completed in November.[10]

On October 28, 2009, Orange changed the name of its Luxemburgian telco VOXMobile to Orange.[11]

On December 11, 2009, Egypt's regulator has approved an offer from a unit of France Telecom (Orange) to buy Mobinil.[12]

Use of the Orange brand by other companies

Because the brand was originally owned by Hutchison, many of Hutchison's Asian and Oceanic subsidiaries continued using the Orange brand until recently.

On 1 February 2006, Hutchison Telecom announced that its Australian affiliate would withdraw the Orange brand name. Its CDMA network was shut down on 9 August 2006, after the vast majority of its customers had already migrated to the 3 network (also owned by Hutchison).

The Orange brand name has also now been removed from India. Orange Mumbai was at first rebranded to Hutch, but has now been rebranded Vodafone in 2007.

Orange SA pulled out of its joint venture with Thailand's TelecomAsia, TA Orange, in 2003. TelecomAsia (now True Corporation) continued to use the Orange brand until 2006, when the operator was rebranded as True Move.

The Orange brand is used under licence by Partner Communications Company Ltd. in Israel and Mauritius Telecom in Mauritus.

Orange is the current sponsor of Rockcorps in the UK, a community based organisation where volunteers donate four hours of their time in exchange for a concert ticket.[13]

Operations within the Orange Group

Most operations in Orange SA are also branded Orange, but not all - the exceptions being Mobistar in Belgium, Mobinil in Egypt and Optimus Telecomunicações in Portugal. Some of these operations are not a majority holding of the Orange Group, others have strong minority interests.

The situation in Belgium is unusual. Prior to the acquisition by France Telecom, Orange plc owned and operated a network there called Orange. Since France Telecom also owned the market leader Mobistar, one of the two networks had to be sold following the sale. A decision was made to sell Orange to KPN and keep Mobistar. Orange continued to trade for a while after the sale to KPN before rebranding to BASE. So for a period of time in Belgium, the Orange owned company Mobistar was competing with an operator called Orange.


On 21 March 2007 Watchdog, a television series by the BBC focusing on consumer protection, published the results from a Broadband survey they held. According to the survey Orange is the worst ISP in the UK. 68% of Orange customers that took part in the survey said they were unsatisfied with Orange's Customer Service, it was voted as the most unreliable broadband provider, and it had the highest number of dissatisfied customers. Two thirds of Orange customers experienced problems cancelling their Orange broadband.[14]

In response to the problems with Orange UK broadband and 3G broadband during March 2009 and April 2009 the 3G data network has been upgraded to 3.5G and increased signal coverage. This new network can be seen in action on many mobile phones which display network for instance the Nokia N95, when the phone detects the higher speed. The Orange UK mobile broadband USB adapter works with the new network. The 3G networks for all telecommunication suppliers still struggle to get the throughput that was originally advertised when these networks were announced. The UK Telecomms Regulator [15] has reported on the challenges for all suppliers.

A consumer organisation forum web site known as focuses on the poor level of service provided by Orange Broadband in the UK. Initially set up as, the site focuses on the infamous Orange Local Loop Unbundling and poor Customer service but covers a wider range of Orange operations such as lost email, significantly delayed SMTP and outages, suspicions of eavesdropping, et al.

Orange Mobile has been criticised during a Channel 4 News investigation for a lack of security which potentially exposed customer records to fraud.[16]

YouGov's report[17] reveals that Orange has improved its customer satisfaction ratings, with emphasis said to be on network reliability, network coverage reach, and "its ability to deliver a continuous mobile broadband connection".

"Being awarded the best mobile broadband network by our customers across the UK is a real honour. We have taken significant measures to improve the quality of our network for both voice and data, and are so glad that our customers are really starting to see the benefit", said Paul Tollet, vice president, Orange Business.[18]

In August 2007 Orange was criticised for summarily deleting email accounts tied to old Freeserve and Wanadoo 'pay as you go' dial-up accounts with no warning.[19]

In August 2008, after well publicised problems with iPhone 3G performances, customers compared their download speed and discovered that Orange in France was capping 3G download bandwidth. Orange admitted capping to 384kbit/s, well below the theoretical 7.2Mbit/s provided by the iPhone. [20][21]

In June 2008 Alex Singleton of the Daily Telegraph lambasted Orange's customer service[4]:

"The hatred that large numbers of Orange customers have towards their network is mostly France Telecom's fault. The French firm utterly wrecked the company it bought. Internet forums are now full of angry customers who have been billed incorrectly or otherwise wronged, and who have found ringing Orange to complain a horrible experience."

Orange networks

Orange-controlled or joint-controlled interests (non-Orange branded mobile operators)

Other Orange websites

  • Orange Partner - Orange Group's developer/partner program, enabling businesses worldwide to commercialize their applications, content or solutions on the Orange network.

See also


  1. ^ "Orange France." Businessweek. Retrieved on 6 October 2009.
  2. ^ Orange-Armenia Launch
  3. ^ European Commission (21 September 2007). "Mergers: Commission clears proposed acquisition of One by France Telecom and private equity investor Mid Europa Partners". Press release. Retrieved 22 September 2007. 
  4. ^ "Company Overview". Retrieved 14 February 2008. 
  5. ^ Richardson, Tim (29 June 2005). "Wanadoo brand to be scrapped". The Register. Retrieved 19 December 2006. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ EUROPA - Rapid - Press Releases
  8. ^ "Orange brings iPhone to customers in Europe, Africa and the Middle East". Orange. 16 May 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2006. 
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ De Tijd, 20 october 2009
  12. ^ [3]
  13. ^
  14. ^ "BBC Watchdog Broadband Survey". Retrieved 21 March 2007. 
  15. ^ "ofcom". Retrieved 10 September 2009. 
  16. ^ Channel 4 News
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Night of the long juicer"
  20. ^ Orange admits to capping 3G speeds in France
  21. ^ Orange admits to 3G speed caps

External links


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