Posts filed under ‘Orange’
Six operators will launch mobile phones based on the LiMo operating system this year, announced the LiMo Foundation, an industry group promoting Linux software for mobile services. The operators planning LiMo devices include NTT Docomo, Orange, SK Telecom, Telefonica, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone. Further active operator participants in the LiMo Foundation include KTF, SFR, Softbank Mobile, Swisscom and Telecom Italia. To date 33 commercial handset models have been certified as LiMo Compliant, of which 10 will be on display at the Mobile World Congress by NEC and Panasonic. LG and Samsung will also show new prototype models at MWC in Barcelona.
The LiMo Foundation also announced that all technologies specified for the R2 release of the LiMo Platform have been contributed on time, and LiMo members are currently introducing reference implementations for devices. The LiMo Reference Implementations will include code specified within both LiMo Platform R1 and LiMo Platform R2. This code includes source code contributions from members as well as components originating from open source communities. LiMo Reference Implementation contributors include Access, Azingo, LG Electronics, Purple Labs and Samsung Electronics. The latest technologies in the LiMo Platform include support for features such as advanced multimedia, location-based services, device management and enhanced security. The LiMo Foundation also announced its endorsement of the OMTP Bondi specification, which future LiMo handsets using a web runtime will support for widgets.
The French courts have ruled that Orange France must relinquish its exclusive rights to sell the Apple iPhone in France, upholding an earlier ruling by the country’s anti-competition authorities. On 17 December 2008 the competition watchdog effectively tore up the exclusivity contract when it ordered Orange France and Apple to suspend the deal they brokered which allowed the mobile operator to control the sale of the much-hyped Apple device in the country. The Competition Council’s ruling followed a complaint filed by Bouygues Telecom which argued the exclusivity deal breached local competition laws. A spokesman for Orange has told AFP it would seek to overturn the ruling before France’s high court of appeal, the Cour de Cassation.
The retail chain Carrefour has announced plans to work with a number of French mobile operators to begin trials of Near Field Communications (NFC) m-payments trials in the country by December 2009. Carrefour says the trial will allow customers of Orange, SFR and Bouygues to make secure mobile contactless payments via a version of its MasterCard loyalty card, known as Pass. The mobile payments can be redeemed as mobile coupons and will effectively replace their existing store cards.
UAE-based operator Etisalat has signed an agreement to sell Apple’s iPhone 3G mobile phone in the United Arab Emirates from later this month. The operator will simultaneously launch the device in Saudi Arabia through its operator there, Mobily. The iPhone 3G, available in 8GB and 16GB models, is already available in some countries in the Middle East, through agreements with Vodafone and Orange affiliates.
France Telecom (Orange) aims to launch its new Armenian operation in autumn 2009, its CEO Didier Lombard is quoted as saying in an interview with the Armenia President, Mr. Serzh Sargsyan, on the margins of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Mr Lombard announced only scant details of the French firm’s rollout plan, but did say that he expected the new services would be ‘in demand’.
The French heavyweight was unveiled as the winner of Armenia’s third mobile operator licence in October 2008, after submitting the highest bid in the ongoing tender process. The French telco was one of three groups shortlisted in August that year to participate in an international tender for the third mobile concession. Orange tendered roughly EUR51.5 million (USD72 million) for the concession, roughly five times the state’s EUR10 million minimum asking price. The other bidders, Tele2 of Sweden and the UK-Irish group Blackrock Communications, bid EUR45.6 million and EUR31.7 million, respectively.
According to the Jordan Times, Jordan Telecom Group (JTG) grew its customer base to 2.52 million subscribers at the end of 2008, up 3.4% year-on-year. The company said the rise was mainly driven by growth from its Orange internet subscriber base, which reported 55.6% subscriber growth to 102,200. The Orange mobile customer base rose by 2.6% to 1.76 million, while the number of fixed line subscribers was up 0.5% to 663,400. The group’s net profit increased 6.1% to JOD100.3 million (USD142.7 million), while EBITDA was up 5.5% to JOD183.2 million. Revenues edged up 0.9% to JOD401.4 million, while JTG’s operating expenses before depreciation and amortisation declined by 2.7% to JOD218.2 million. Capital expenditure in 2008 amounted to JOD55.8 million, 6.7% lower than the JOD59.8 million in 2007.
The Israeli government has announced that it will permit the launch of MVNOs on the local market. The ministry of communications said that several companies have already expressed their interest for various new business models, including full MVNO. The government expects that the entry of more mobile operators to the market, along with the already existing number postability, will boost competition and encourage operators to come up with more attractive offers for customers. The ministry has prepared a draft ‘Licence for the provision of mobile telephony services involving the use of a mobile telephony network of another company’, and has laid down the main conditions and requirements of applying for an MVNO licence. There are currently three main mobile network operators in Israel: Orange, Pelephone and Cellcom.