Orange looks to fresh Horizons with new business unit aimed at Europe, Africa

Orange has taken the wraps off a business unit tasked with seeking out business opportunities, including setting up MVNOs, outside its existing territories.
Written by Jo Best, Contributor

Orange has confirmed its ambitions to expand its international footprint with the creation of a new subsidiary, Orange Horizons.

Orange Horizons will be tasked with seeking out "new business opportunities in countries where [Orange] is not already present as a mass-market telecommunications provider", the company said on Wednesday.

Rather than setting up new networks, however, Orange Horizons is looking at other, lower-overhead options, including "launch of online stores selling telecoms-related equipment or airtime; the introduction of flexible travel solutions; or the launch of a virtual mobile operator (MVNO) activity".

It will also look into VoIP services for travellers, and setting up websites in areas it already has content businesses.

Orange Horizons is targeting Europe and Africa for its new ventures, which it expects to open in the course 2013. South Africa became the first country that Orange Horizons moved into, with the launch this week of a mobile retail site and a content portal.

"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," Elie Girard, Orange's SVP of strategy and international development, said.

Orange also last week announced another move aimed at strengthening its appeal outside its traditional markets, with a deal that will see it pre-install a customised version of Baidu's browser on Android mobile phones it sells in the Middle East and Africa.

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