France Telecom’s Orange says there could be an opportunity to “merge” in offering voice and data packages in South Africa, as a potential virtual mobile operator (MVNO).
Virgin Mobile South Africa is already established as an MVNO, but with limited success.
Speaking at an event in Rosebank on Friday (18 January), Sébastien Crozier, managing director of Orange Horizons said: “We could become an MVNO in South Africa.”
He pointed to services which the group could offer under such an initiative including Orange Money, and airtime transfer. In his broken English he said: “It’s this kind of services that can be of interest.”
“There could be an opportunity to merge in voice and data, but we (will) think about it…if we decide to do it in South Africa, it’s a long-term strategy,” he said.
He described the market in South Africa as “very interesting”, adding that Orange was already pursuing an opportunity to become a virtual mobile operator in Togo. Officially, the group is competing for a license in that country.
Crozier admitted that Orange has tried to enter the South African market many times through partnerships, without success. “So we tried a different strategy,” he said.
When BusinessTech questioned if Orange was in discussions with local operators, Crozier said: “We discuss with everybody… we will work on it”, adding that it was “quite interesting” to see how they reacted to Orange’s intentions to launch in the country as an MVNO.
Earlier this week, Orange launched a new subsidiary called Orange Horizons aimed at seeking out new business opportunities in countries where the group is not already present as a mass-market telecommunications provider.
These projects could include the launch of online stores selling telecoms-related equipment or airtime; the introduction of flexible travel solutions; and potentially the launch of MVNO activity.
The company launched two websites offering a number of telecoms related devices and accessories:
- An e-commerce website,http://store.orange.com/za, has been launched to sell telecoms-related devices and accessories;
- A country website, www.orange.com/za which provides online content specifically tailored for a South African audience including news feeds, sports news and audiovisual content.