French telecom company, Orange (ORAN - Analyst Report) is reportedly offering customers 4G at a low cost through its Sosh pricing plan without any additional charges. In a drive to add additional customers to the company’s LTE coverage, Orange also seems to join the bandwagon of competitive pricing for advanced wireless services like LTE following other French carriers like Iliad S.A, Vivendi SA and al Bouygues Telecom of Bouygues SA.
Orangecontinues to see customer growth in its mobile business backed by the success of “Open”, “Origami” and “Sosh”offers, and strong adoption of smartphones. ADSL market share will remain healthy boosted by the bundled offers based on “Livebox,” a combined modem and Wi-Fi router. Orange France offers VoIP (Internet phone) service as part of its Livebox triple-play (Internet, VoIP, and TV) offering and is the leader in the domestic consumer VoIP market.
Moreover, the company is also gaining momentum in its mobile money service business ??? Orange Money, which is available in 13 African and Middle Eastern countries with 7.4 million customers. The company aims at expanding Orange Money services to 22 countries in Africa and the Middle East. The company targets 8 million customers by the year end.
Further, with respect to LTE deployment, Orange is ramping up infrastructural developments in France and other European countries. The company has accelerated 4G rollout with 500 cities covered at the end of September, representing 32% of the French population and intended to tap over 40% of the population by 2013 end. In Spain, the company remains one of the leading telecom carriers in 4G deployment and expects to cover 24% of the population by this year.
Besides Europe, the company is also focusing on Africa and the Middle Eastern markets. The company has already launched 4G in two countries in this market and expected to launch 4G in two more regions, namely, Senegal and Botswana. The company has also reached an agreement with leading automaker – Renault – for a research project to test the automotive uses of 4G/LTE connectivity for a motorist’s safe access to virtual office, video conferencing and cloud gaming.
As a result, we believe the company’s plans to promote its LTE offering through its low cost pricing plans remains a key strategic initiative to survive in a highly competitive market.
Orange, which operates with other European companies like Telef (TEF - Analyst Report), Telecom Italia S.p.A (TI - Snapshot Report) and Vodafone Group Plc (VOD - Analyst Report), has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).