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Orange launches its one stop shop for communication services
Wednesday 31 May 2006 18:14:00 by Andrew Ferguson

The latest news from Orange is going to be compared by many people to the recent product news from Talk Talk. At the Orange press conference today the company was keen to emphasise the aim of providing a seamless customer experience across the companies product ranges. This one stop shop will hopefully offer the consumer some cost savings, but Orange are not trying to be the lowest priced operator, rather offer a quality service they feel they can sustain, and overtime embrace areas like TV over DSL.

The rebranding of Wanadoo broadband services to be under the Orange umbrella is part of a much wider rebranding across the various markets France Telecom operate in, with the aim being that Orange will be an internationally recognised brand for communications solutions. From 1st June 2006 in the UK Orange broadband and mobile services will all be offered from orange.co.uk website.

In terms of broadband products the key points are:

  • An extension of the Orange TRY initiative, which allows people to try ADSL for £14.99, then after the initial 30 day period they can take the decision whether to keep the service or walk away. The TRY product is a 1Mbps service, with no set-up fee.
  • For Orange mobile phone customers who have a pay monthly mobile contract with a talk plan costing £30 or more a month, there is the new option of a free broadband connection. The service will be an up to 8Mbps service, free set-up and Orange Livebox, and carries an 18 month contract. The product is the equivalent of the old £17.99 Wanadoo ADSL package with its 2GB usage allowance. The Livebox provides a simple socket to connect a standard telephone to, which will then use Voice over IP, the advantage of this is that the Orange Wireless & Talk service gives you free evening and weekend calls to UK landlines. Customers can opt for an Orange Anytime option at £6/month, which gives free calls to UK landlines (01 and 02 numbers) at anytime, plus free calls to Orange mobiles.
  • The £27.99 Wanadoo product will continue as Oranges top-end broadband package currently. This comes with the Livebox modem, free set-up, an up to 8Mbps connection and rather than a fixed limit has a fair usage policy.

While Orange are in the process of unbundling around 500 exchanges by the end of 2006, the products are available nationally, with no extra surcharges for those not on an unbundled exchange. The Orange unbundled products are currently based around a shared unbundled line, which means while Orange will take control of the broadband portion of the line, you will still need to pay line rental to BT.

So what is the future bringing? The Orange One Phone service which is under trial in France, and shortly entering trial in the UK, will be a mobile phone service that will switch over to connect wirelessly to the Livebox broadband connection when in range. Orange already offer Mobile TV services, but latter this year a TV set-top box that will connect to the Livebox will be launched offering Freeview content with a video on demand service over the broadband connection. The video service will also offer HDTV content, and include broadcast TV content over the broadband connection in the future. Other interesting developments on the way are a Live Music system to link your HiFi to the Livebox, and a Livezoom Wi-Fi Camera, to provide an easy to use webcam service that does not require a PC.

Orange Broadband will have one million customers (i.e. the previously Wanadoo customers), and there are 200,000 Livebox units in use in the UK, out of 2,400,000 across Europe. Orange also has more than 150,000 Voice over IP customers.

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