The South African arm of french telecommunications giant, Orange, says it has ambitions to become an Internet Service Provider (ISP).
“We are studying the opportunity to become an ISP. We think that we can bring more value added services in this market,” said Orange Horizons CEO, Sébastien Crozier.
“There are many innovations you can bring to the market in being an ISP,” Crozier said. “What we see in Europe, is a triple play, you have TV, you have Voice over IP (VoIP), and you have internet access all on the same subscription. We think this is quite interesting.”
The Orange lead highlighted the recent push in South Africa to deliver fibre to the home. And while most of the projects are dedicated to feeding services to business, the momentum towards targeting the home was starting to gain some traction.
Orange has openly expressed its intent to become a virtual mobile operator in SA, but has been critical of a lack of legislation covering that sector of the industry.
“We plan to launch an ISP, because its one way of becoming an operator without being an MVNO,” he said.
Crozier said that Orange is investing a lot of money in South Africa, to be more of a presence here.
The group already sells products in SA through its website, and has a business unit serving high profile companies in the mining, and petroleum industry.
“We want to do more than an online store, even if the online store is doing very well,” Crozier said.
The group has plans to open up a warehouse in Johannesburg, “to accelerate development”, not only for SA, but also into other territories in Africa. “We want to create a hub from Joburg,” Crozier said.
“We think that it’s a good idea to have a warehouse locally, to increase turnover. South Africa is a very important country for us, and for the area,” he said.
“The idea is to open the warehouse at the beginning of May,” Crozier said. “We plan to hire people following an increase in turnover. Of course the warehouse will get bigger and bigger.”
He said that a new channel of sales would include people being able to order their products via the website, and then pick it up via the warehouse.
Orange Horizon’s activities in South Africa include the Orange content website, the Orange online store and Orange travel data, as well as voice and SIM-card products offered both through the Orange online store as well as through Orange corners within a selection on Nashua Mobile stores.